Colombia: FARC Fading Faster



March 25, 2008:  The bonanza of captured documents from two recently killed FARC leaders, confirmed the sharp decline in FARC strength. A decade ago, FARC had nearly 18,000 fighters under arms. Now, fewer than 9,000 gunmen are out there, and many are inclined to surrender to the government, or just run away. In the last year alone, FARC lost 4,000 people (38 percent were killed, the rest deserted or were captured). This is more than double the losses of 2006. Recruiting is more difficult, largely because FARC is no longer cool, or very safe. The FARC deserters come home and bad-mouth the organization, making it less likely that anyone from that area will join up. FARC has been having a hard time meeting the payroll, which also hurts hiring.


The captured laptops, of the two FARC leaders, revealed close relationships with leftist politicians in Ecuador and Venezuela, as well as long time supporter of leftist terrorists, Libyan dictator Kadaffy. Four of the people killed or wounded in the Ecuadorian FARC camp were Mexican leftists. This revelation resulted in Mexican leftists organization insisting that the four were there doing research, not working with FARC. The laptops contain hundreds of letters to and from prominent American and European leftists, as well as sympathizers from other parts of the world. These relationships were long suspected, but now they are documented, and they are making a lot of people outside of Colombia nervous.


The Colombian people believed that foreign leftists were long cooperating with FARC, and in the wake of the March 1st raid, a poll showed president Uribes approval rating went from 80 to 82 percent.


March 19, 2008:  Based on tips from Colombia, Peruvian police arrested two FARC arms buyers in northern Peru, just across the Colombian border.