For a long time, FARC members were
difficult to get information out of. The Code of Silence was enforced by fear,
mainly that FARC would get to your friends or family if you talked. Entire
families were murdered, sparing no one. But the damage done to FARC in Colombia
and internationally over the last few years has sharply damaged that
retaliatory capability. Gradually, more and more FARC members are ready to
deal, including those who have been jailed for years. This has provided more
information about the inner workings of the organization, especially the names
of the overseas contacts who supervise international distribution of the drugs,
and the vast quantities of cash headed back to Colombia. The U.S. has, in the
meantime, developed the ability to quickly hunt down and freeze drug money that
enters the international banking system. Now there is less cash for FARC to
play with, and less certainty that their secrets are safe. That means more
indictments when you are captured, and more likelihood of getting put away for
a long time. That loosens tongues even more. It's a new world for FARC, and an
uglier and less affluent one.
information coming out of FARC members is also implicating many Colombian
institutions and establishment figures. Many leftist politicians are now known
to have been in touch with FARC (because of ideological affinity), as have many
businesses (because of extortion operations or opportunities to take advantage of
attacks on a competitor). Very unsavory stuff.
State Department has adjusted its travel warnings for American visitors to
Colombia. It's pointed out that many urban and tourist areas are safe, but much
of rural Colombia is still potentially unsafe, and should be avoided, or
entered with great care.
attempts to move their camps to seemingly safer neighboring countries. The
safety is illusory. The neighbors know what FARC means long term, they have the
bloody recent history of Colombia to dispel any illusions about what FARC is
all about. So the neighbors, even those run by leftists (Venezuela and Ecuador)
have been sending police and troops after the FARC interlopers. FARC tries to
work out arrangements with local police and military, using their usual
blandishments (bribes and/or threats), and it often doesn't work out.
2008: Police arrested three FARC
members, and seized 150 pounds of explosives, The three were planning a bomb
attack on the headquarters of TV network RCN. The mass media has been leading the counterattack on the leftist rebels
and drug gangs, and the bad guys don't like it. For a long time, the guys with
guns had intimidated the media into a muffled silence. But with rightist
militias (AUC) disbanding, leftist rebels fleeing the urban areas, and drug
gangs keeping their heads down, it's a lot safer to be a journalist. A safer
journalist tends to be a louder journalist.