Drug gangs are moving operations towards the Venezuelan border. There is sanctuary for FARC, and other leftist groups, across the border. Venezuela wants to install a leftist government in Colombia, to aid in the establishment of a Venezuelan super state in South America. To that end, Venezuela also allows the cocaine gangs to fly their drugs out of Venezuela. The only problem is getting the stuff into Venezuela. Both Colombia and Venezuela are putting more troops on their mutual border, making it more likely that a border battle could break out. Venezuela talks big, but the Colombian armed forces have been fighting leftist rebels for years, and because of that combat experience, would have an edge in any border war.
Colombia came through the global recession better than any other South American country, and its economy will grow 2-3 percent in the next year. This is good for the government, bad for the rebels and drug gangs, who depend on chaos and poverty to keep the cocaine business going.
Efforts to restore good relations with Ecuador has been crippled by Ecuadorian judges issuing arrest warrants for senior Colombian officials. This is a quirky custom in Ecuador, where independent, and publicity hungry, judges can issue arrest warrants for foreign politicians, thus making it impossible for these officials to come to Ecuador for peace talks, and the like.
Prosecutors believe 27,000 people were kidnapped and killed in the last 20 years. This became a popular tactic of the anti-leftist militias that arose in that time (and were only disbanded in the last five years). Some 75 percent of those kidnapped and murdered were the victims of the anti-leftist gangs. The leftists preferred to terrorize by killing people as publicly as possible, and continue to do so.
October 20, 2009: In the southwest, FARC has been forced to fight or flee, and are taking a hammering from police and army operations. At least 13 rebels have died in the last week, along with five soldiers. But rebel camps and drug gang assets have been lost, and there is now less territory the drug operations can freely operate in.
October 19, 2009: FARC commander German Suarez has been captured, further reducing the leftist groups high command. Several dozen FARC members have been rounded up in the last week. FARC strength continues to plummet, and nothing the rebel group does seems to help turn the situation around. Eight years ago, FARC had 16,000 armed members, but now its about half that. Another few years of this decline, and FARC will be a bunch of local gangs, and no longer a national organization.
October 13, 2009: Police seized two tons of Cocaine, guarded by a single armed teenager, near the coast. Two nearby camps used by the drug gang were seized and searched. Aerial reconnaissance, electronic eavesdropping, informants and new ways to quickly combine all that information into a picture of where the drug gangs, FARC, and the drugs are.