President Uribe has become so popular partly because he has taken on all the crooks and corrupt officials that journalists fear to write about. It's become customary for gangsters and corrupt officials to just kill any journalist that gives them a hard time. But Uribe is too powerful, well protected, and lucky to take out. Uribe finds out about these scandals all over the country and makes the story his own, leaving the indicted wish for Uribe's death, but unable to pull it off. Journalists, and just people with information, throughout Colombia, pass information on to Uribe (the federal government), knowing that there's a good chance something will be done. In the past four years, criminal activity is down, and the economy is booming, and Uribe gets most of the credit. Normally, politicians, left or right, make all sorts of promises, then do nothing but steal once in office.
May 26, 2006: For the first time in memory, FARC is encouraging people to vote, against the reelection of president Uribe. FARC is urging or, when they can, coercing, voters to choose any leftist candidate opposing Uribe in the election on May 28th. Uribe's policies have brought FARC to the edge of disaster, and their only hope is for a leftist candidate to win an upset in the election.
May 25, 2006: Another 16 members of the Administrative Department for Security (DAS, a federal intelligence organization that acts like a secret police force) have been fired. Since last Fall, a new director of DAS has fired 70 agents, after investigations found evidence of criminal activity. This sort of corruption would, in the past, never be addressed. But president Uribe has achieved a 70 percent approval rating for actually going after corrupt officials throughout the government. This impresses all Colombians, because, both leftist and rightist movements tend to become corrupt after a while.
May 23, 2006: A force of undercover police in the south, ran into an army patrol, which opened fire before the cops could identify themselves. Seven of the plain clothes police were killed.
May 21, 2006: In the Pacific port city of Buenaventura, FARC used a new tactic. They paid kids, 8-12 years old, about eight dollars to toss a hand grenade at a certain time and place. After several of those attacks. FARC sent some of its adult members to bomb the local electrical power plant, and cut off energy supplies to much of the city.