Colombia: Hugo Is In A Bad Mood

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December 13, 2007: Several FARC members were arrested in the United States, where they were caught trying to buy helicopters and military weapons (including .50 caliber machine-guns.) Meanwhile, president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is threatening to interrupt the normal $5 billion in annual trade with Colombia, because of perceived insults to him by Colombia. Chavez is still trying to set up talks between the Colombian government and FARC. It's feared that this will include more favorable treatment of FARC rebels trying to set up camp on the Venezuelan side of the border.

December 11, 2007: The government is trying to counter increasing FARC infiltration of universities. Some students are attracted to the FARC "outlaw/rebel" image, and this often leads to criminal behavior and acts of urban terrorism. The main FARC force is being slowly taken apart by government soldiers, police and lawyers out in the countryside. FARC is trying to set up new operations in urban areas. But FARC is largely hated by the urban population. But there are always a few who favor FARC, or can be bought.

December 8, 2007: The government has offered a 150 square kilometer "meeting zone" that would be free of any weapons, and monitored by foreign observers. FARC prefers a zone which they control, and can use as a sanctuary from government attack. The "meeting zone" is not what they want. To further frustrate the rebels, the government has offered $100 million in cash rewards for rebels who will report where the kidnap victims are being held.

December 6, 2007: Another cocaine carrying "submarine" (actually a semi-submersible vessel that is very difficult to spot because only a small "conning tower" is above the water) was sunk off the Pacific coast. Four crewmen were arrested, and several tons of cocaine appear to have gone down with the boat (in over 9,000 feet of water).

 

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