FARC is depending on the upcoming U.S. elections to save it from
destruction. A leftist president, added to the existing leftist majority in the
U.S. Congress, would result in less support for the Colombian government
campaign to destroy FARC. But locally,
FARC is seen as beyond salvation. FARC supporter, Venezuelan president Hugo
Chavez, has urged FARC to release all its kidnapping victims. The kidnappings,
while very lucrative, have been a PR disaster. FARC has lost much popular
support in Europe, and throughout Latin America because of the kidnappings, the
use of landmines and terrorizing
civilians in general, plus its involvement in the cocaine trade. These are all negatives
when it comes to keeping leftist support. Chavez wants to be more active in
supporting FARC, but cannot do so until the Colombian leftists become more
improving security along its border with Colombia, moving more troops there and
installing electronic monitoring devices. Ecuador wants to discourage drug
gangs like FARC from establishing sanctuaries in Ecuador, which invites attacks
by Colombian forces.
The U.S. has
imposed sanctions against four individuals and two financial companies that
have been working for FARC. At the same time, FARC's leftist allies in the U.S.
have blocked a free trade law that would have increased trade between the U.S. and
Colombia, and strengthened the current anti-FARC government in Colombia. But it's
the U.S. president who can impose these sanctions and provide other aid for
2008: A routine police check of a bus in
the northwest found two passengers carrying 138 hand grenades in their luggage.
Colombia is one of the most heavily armed nations in the world, with rifles, pistols and
grenades common among the civilian population.