Colombia: Desperate Days


September 28, 2010: The troops who raided FARC leader Mono Jojoy's camp, after the air force bombed it on the 23rd, seized 15 laptops, 94 flash drives and 14 hard drives. This was an intel bonanza,  yielding more than ten times as much data as was captured two years ago when a similar raid was made on FARC leader Raul Reyes' camp in Ecuador. But the FARC learned their lesson, as there was no encryption on computer data captured two years ago. This time around, a lot of the data is encrypted, and it will take months to decrypt all of it. It's expected that there will be more explosive revelations of how foreign nations, media and active leftists have secretly supported FARC, even after it became widely known that FARC had morphed from a political movement to a drug gang.

Meanwhile, fighting around the FARC camp, where  FARC leader Mono Jojoy was killed last week, continues. This was a, if not the, major FARC camp, and there were apparently hundreds of FARC personnel in the area. With airmobile troops all over the place, and other troops moving in via land routes, the FARC gunmen are having a hard time getting away. In the capital, over 2,000 additional police were deployed, in case FARC tried to respond to the loss of their leader with terror attacks. The loss of Jojoy is a major blow to FARC, because Jojoy was an energetic leader and popular as well. His loss is a big shock for most FARC members.

The government is planning more attacks on the FARC leadership and their major camps. FARC is less than a third of the size it was a decade ago, with about 6,000 gunmen still on the payroll. FARC is falling apart, and the security forces are working on ways to accelerate this process. FARC is falling back on a new strategy, to use more terror attacks in urban areas. This is what rebel organizations do when they are too weak to confront the security forces head on, and control territory.

If was revealed that FARC leader Mono Jojoy (also known as Jorge Briceno) was located using a tiny GPS device in one of his boots. This was accomplished when government intel monitors intercepted messages arranging the purchase of special boots (because of a medical condition) needed for Jojoy. Army intel operatives got to the boot maker and secretly inserted the GPS chip. These boots could be tracked from the air, and when it was certain that Jojoy was wearing the boots regularly, the bombing mission, and the raid by troops, was carried out.  The military later denied the GPS angle, perhaps to protect methods and sources, perhaps because they relied entirely on human sources. 

September 27, 2010: FARC has announced a new supreme leader, Felix Munoz, five days after his predecessor Mono Jojoy was killed in an air strike. In the capital, a politician, Piedad Cordoba, was expelled from the senate and banned from holding political office for 18 years. All this was because she was found guilty of collaborating with the FARC.

Venezuela deported two Colombian drug gang leaders to the United States, collecting a $5 million American reward for one of them. Venezuela has been criticized for tolerating Colombian gangs for shipping cocaine north via Venezuela. But if the price is right, the Venezuelans will sell you a major drug lord. So far this year, Venezuela has given up 16 people wanted by the U.S. or Interpol.  The political situation in Venezuela is becoming more unstable. Venezuelan strongman, president Hugo Chavez, lost lots of ground in recent parliamentary elections. Chavez is increasingly unpopular because of the damage he has done to the economy, as he tries to fix it according to his bizarre "socialist principles."

September 26, 2010:  Near the Ecuador border, troops attacked a FARC camp and killed rebel leader Domingo Biojo, and over 20 of his gunmen. Troops were led to the camp by three informants, who will share a $500,000 reward.

September 23, 2010: Aircraft bombed a jungle camp in the north, killing over twenty FARC members, including their supreme leader, Mono Jojoy. This was a major blow to FARC, which has suffered a growing number of casualties among the senior leadership. Pressure from the army has reduced income from the cocaine trade, and this led to many fighters deserting because they were not getting paid.  

September 21, 2010:  Off the Pacific coast, the navy seized a drug smuggling ship headed for Panama. Nearly two tons of cocaine was seized.




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