Colombia: Bad Trends For The Bad Guys

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November 21, 2007: The leftist leader of Venezuela is holding negotiations with ELN and FARC, to obtain the freedom of high-profile FARC kidnapping victims. The Colombian government has agreed to cooperate as long as the leftist rebels meet deadlines. Otherwise, this is all seen as leftist propaganda exercise. ELN appears serious about making a deal, like the rightist AUC did. But FARC is split into factions, some of which are determined to fight on. That would be risky if most of FARC took the amnesty. While the fighting has killed over 500 soldiers and police so far this year, it has killed or captured several thousand rebels, and chased many more out of strongholds (towns or rural camps) they had occupied for decades.

November 17, 2007: A FARC anti-vehicle mine destroyed an army truck, killing six, 150 kilometers southwest of the capital. FARC is turning more to tactics like this, because they cannot confront the military directly. Warplanes and transport helicopters enable the troops to quickly reinforce any clash on the ground. So FARC plants mines and roadside bombs, and tries to stay hidden.

November 16, 2007: Marines found another submersible boat, on the Pacific coast. These craft are built, out of fiberglass, to move cocaine past air and naval patrols. This one could carry 12 tons of cocaine, and had room for a crew of four. Colombia exports about 600 tons of cocaine a year. In the last two years, eleven of these submersibles have been found. In some cases, submersible containers, that stay just beneath the surface, are built, and rigged with an underwater tow line, to large cargo ships.

 

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