Colombia: Dirty Money


May 20, 2011: The army and police operations against drug operations continue to reveal (from prisoners and captured documents) that the drug gangs are continuing the movement of their operations to neighboring countries. The security forces are more agreeable in nations adjacent to Colombia, and that makes it much easier to produce and ship cocaine. But those areas where the drug gangs and FARC still operate (the borders of Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama) are much more violent than the rest of the country. Some of the drug gangs won't move, and are violently resisting police efforts to make them disband or go.

More evidence piles up that the relationship between Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Colombian leftist FARC rebels goes back to the 1990s. This has long been suspected, but Chavez always vigorously denied it, as the charges had him being funded by a foreign organization that received most of its money from drug gangs. Once seen as a great reformer, Chavez has been revealed as a corrupt and incompetent demagogue who has ruined Venezuela's economy, and is trying to form a personal militia to keep him in power now that he can no longer win elections. Chavez may also take up a FARC offer to train gunmen to kill opponents inside Venezuela. It's only recently been revealed how this offer has been made, very quietly, in the past. Captured documents show a pattern of FARC bankrolling politicians, in return for favorable treatment once elected. That explains a lot of ineffective campaigns against the drug gangs in the past.

May 18, 2011: The Colombian Supreme Court declared evidence against drug gang members inadmissible if it came from laptops captured in a 2008 raid just across the border in Ecuador. That operation against a FARC camp was conducted without permission from Ecuador, thus making any evidence collected inadmissible in court.



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