Newly elected president Juan Manuel Santos has made peace with Venezuela, whose president Hugo Chavez grew angry when accused, by Santo's predecessor, of allowing Colombian leftists and drug gangs to hide out on the Venezuelan side of the border. Santos and Chavez are saying nice things about each other and planning free trade and such. Chavez sees Santos as a convenient excuse to restore economic relations with Colombia, and help cope with the growing economic catastrophe inside Venezuela. Chavez has been trying to introduce his own version of socialism into Venezuela, but this has been a major failure. The growing poverty and crime rate has caused Chavez to lose most of his popularity. Meanwhile, the leftist rebels and drug gangs are still operating out of Venezuela. The 2,200 kilometer border between the two nations remains crowded with soldiers and guns slingers of all sorts. However, Venezuelan police are arresting drug gang operatives outside the border area, forcing the cocaine gangs to move some operations to the Dominican Republic, especially for the movement of cocaine to Europe. Other drug gangs are moving operations to neighboring Ecuador and Panama.
As the security forces continue to capture more drug gang and leftist rebels members, and their documents, more prominent individuals, and organizations, inside Colombia and as far away as Europe, are identified as rebel supporters and embarrassed, and sometimes indicted, because of it. Some Colombian politicians have been barred from politics, and other prominent citizens have fled. The rebels and drug gangs often used the same people for intelligence collecting and getting help inside the government. That network is now badly hurt. While some of these spies and traitors did it for money, many believed in the goals of the leftist rebels (establishing a communist dictatorship). In the last decade, growing prosperity has made that an even less popular goal for most Colombians, and an increasing number of Venezuelans are noting the growing prosperity in Colombia, while leftist Venezuela mires in economic decline and conspiracy theories. ETA and FARC supporters in Europe that have been exposed are often found, on closer examination, to be supporting other extremist groups as well. The Colombian leftist rebels have been in business for nearly half a century, and as more and more of their secrets are revealed, a lot of deep, dark and embarrassing items are being made public.
October 28, 2010: The navy seized a suspicious boat near the Panamanian border off the Caribbean coast and found two tons of cocaine. The boat was headed north, to help move the drugs to the United States. Colombian security forces have seized 40 tons of drugs so far this year.
October 24, 2010: Near the Venezuelan border, police defused a bomb at an airport. In the south, a bomb at a bus terminal was defused.