Uribe has a 75 percent approval rating, largely as a result of pushing leftist
rebels out of many parts of the country, and getting the rightist AUC to
disband. About ten percent of the disbanded AUC gunmen have joined other
criminal organizations, but nearly 30,000 gunmen were taken out of circulation,
leading to a lower level of violence and increased economic activity. Uribe is
mainly appreciated for the economic growth that has resulted.
May 10, 2007: In the
southwest, a FARC roadside bomb killed ten policemen involved in an anti-drug
May 9, 2007: In the
northeast, a FARC roadside bomb killed nine policemen involved in an anti-drug
operation. FARC is increasingly resorting to land mines and roadside bombs to
defend its drug operations. These tactics increase casualties, especially among
civilians who wander into the unmarked minefields, but has not stopped the
steady loss of territory by the leftist rebels.
May 8, 2007: Coca growing
is down about ten percent in Colombia, but the lost cocaine production is being
replaced by increased coca growing in adjacent nations.
2007: The U.S. accused Venezuela of tolerating leftist rebels from
Colombia (FARC and ELN) on its territory, as a way to weaken Colombia (whose
booming economy is in sharp contrast to what is happening in Venezuela).
2007: FARC released a video of twelve of its kidnap victims
pleading for the government to give FARC a neutral zone, so that peace
negotiations can start. FARC had such a neutral zone before, and simply used it
as a refuge for its battered bands of gunmen, and did nothing with the peace
negotiations. FARC is offering to trade kidnapping victims for imprisoned FARC
killers and kidnappers.