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pikesome
03-05-2008, 10:15 AM
Seized laptop shows Chavez-rebel ties

By FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 12 minutes ago

A single laptop can reveal much, and so it is with the digital treasure chest that Colombian commandos found in the jungle quarters of slain rebel leader Raul Reyes.

Files in the computer seized in Saturday's raid into Ecuador that claimed the lives of Reyes and 23 of his comrades offer an intimate portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's desire to undermine Colombia's U.S.-allied government.

If authentic, the documents show that sympathies Chavez first aired publicly in January grew out of a relationship that dates back more than a decade. But Chavez is not one of the correspondents, and his sentiments mentioned in these documents are relayed solely through the rebels.

Venezuela says the documents are lies and fabrications. If they are, they are expertly done.

Not only do they offer an unprecedented glimpse into the rebels' mind-set, they also discuss diplomatic overtures from governments including the United States — cryptically — and France — explicitly.

They are signed electronically by the most powerful men in the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the hemisphere's oldest and most potent rebel movement.

Those signing the documents include:

• Reyes, the FARC's foreign minister and public face, whose killing struck a chilling blow to the group;

• Manuel Marulanda, the rebels' 77-year-old supreme leader;

• Jorge Briceno, their much-feared field marshal;

• and Ivan Marquez, the insurgents' apparent go-between with Chavez. Marquez is believed to live in Venezuela.

Copies of 13 documents were sent to reporters Tuesday by Colombia's national police chief, Gen. Oscar Naranjo. He revealed their existence Sunday as his government came under a withering diplomatic assault for violating Ecuador's territory with the raid.

They indicate that Chavez, seeking to raise the FARC's stature and relieve it of its international pariah status, shares their goal of isolating and discrediting Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe.

But do they prove that Venezuela was actually financing the FARC's bid to overthrow a democratically elected government? That's not clear.

Naranjo alleges the "300," called the "dossier" in a Dec. 23 message signed by Marquez, refers to a $300 million gift from Chavez to the rebels.

In a Jan. 14 missive, Briceno discusses what to do with the "dossier."

"Who, where, when and how will we receive the dollars and store them?" he asks fellow members of the FARC's seven-man ruling secretariat.

Uribe has worked as no other Colombian president to defeat the FARC. So it's no surprise that in the Jan. 14 message, Briceno discusses a desire to undermine Uribe by making him cede a safe haven to the rebels for talks on a prisoner swap.

"Uribe will become more isolated, together with his boss from the North," a clear reference to President Bush, whose government provides Colombia with some $600 million a year in military aid.

In a document dated Feb. 9, Marquez passes along Chavez's thanks for a $150,000 gift when he was imprisoned from 1992-94 for leading a failed coup — and indicates Chavez's desire to smear Uribe.

Marquez tells Marulanda and the other secretariat members that Venezuela wants documentation of damage by Colombia's military to "the civilian population, also images of bombardments in the jungle and its devastation — to use as a denunciation before the world."

Marquez also relays that Chavez's government "invites the FARC to participate in some sessions of the analysis group he's formed to follow Colombia's political situation."

In a letter the previous day to the same recipients, Marquez discusses Chavez's plan to try to persuade leading Latin American nations to help get the FARC removed from lists of international terror groups.

At least three of the documents express Chavez's deep desire to meet with Marulanda, hopefully on Venezuelan soil. Marulanda has reportedly never left Colombia.

Marquez also says Chavez is prepared to offer Venezuelan territory for the FARC's desired prisoner swap, which would be a huge embarrassment for Uribe. The FARC has proposed exchanging some 40 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors, for hundreds of rebels currently in Colombia's jails.

The FARC captured the three when their surveillance plane crashed in February 2003.

The rebels have released six hostages — all Colombian politicians — since Uribe tried to end Chavez's mediation role with the FARC in November, accusing the Venezuelan president of overstepping his mandate.

The four freed most recently, on Feb. 27, say hostage Ingrid Betancourt, a former presidential candidate who also holds French citizenship, is extremely ill.

Betancourt has become a cause celebre in France. French contacts with Reyes are mentioned in several documents, including a request that the French envoy, identified only as "Noe," be granted a meeting with Marulanda.

References to U.S. diplomatic overtures are scintillating, if vague.

In a Dec. 11 message to the secretariat, Marquez writes: "If you are in agreement, I can receive Jim and Tucker to hear the proposal of the gringos."

The same message says an Italian referred to only as Consolo has told Marquez "the European Parliament wants to get involved in the prisoner exchange."

Writing two days before his death, Reyes tells his secretariat comrades that "the gringos," working through Ecuador's government, are interested "in talking to us on various issues."

"They say the new president of their country will be (Barack) Obama," noting that Obama rejects both the Bush administration's free trade agreement with Colombia and the current military aid program.

Reyes said the response he relayed is that the United States would have to publicly express that desire.

Another message, to Reyes from a lower-ranking commander and dated Feb. 16, includes mention of a possible purchase of 50 kilos — 110 pounds — of uranium.

Uribe's government has claimed that means the FARC was seeking to build a dirty bomb. But the message discusses a different motive: selling the uranium at a profit.
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080305/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/colombia_farc_laptop&printer=1)

Hog Farmer
03-05-2008, 11:19 AM
NOOOOOOOOO, To Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rain Man
03-05-2008, 07:18 PM
A $300 million gift? I'm in the wrong business.

pikesome
03-05-2008, 09:34 PM
A $300 million gift? I'm in the wrong business.

Are you in the nuke reselling business? Kidnapping? Terrorism? Drug producing?

These FARC guys are the real bad news, thugs and brutes. They're about as revolutionary as my left nut.

alanm
03-05-2008, 10:33 PM
I actually find this very interesting. :hmmm:

pikesome
03-06-2008, 09:13 AM
Financing

FARC has financed itself through kidnapping ransoms, extortion, and drug trafficking which includes but it is not limited to coca plant harvesting, protection of their crops, processing of coca leaves to manufacture cocaine, and drug trade protection. Businesses operating in rural areas, including agricultural, oil, and mining interests, were required to pay “vaccines” (monthly extortions) which “protected” them from subsequent attacks and kidnappings. An additional, albeit less lucrative, source of revenue was highway blockades where guerrillas stopped motorists and buses in order to confiscate jewelry and money, which were especially prevalent during the presidencies of Ernesto Samper (1994-1998) and that of Andrés Pastrana (1998-2002).

Over time, fewer recruits joined the organization for ideological reasons, but rather as a means to escape poverty and unemployment.[citation needed]

In 1991, a small group of guerrillas invaded the Brazilian side of the jungle, and attacked an army post near the Traira River, in the first and only confirmed clash with the Brazilian army to date. Three soldiers were killed and some weapons stolen. A few days later a Brazilian commando struck back, killing seven guerrillas. There has also been alleged FARC activity in Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador where in 1993 they ambushed a group of military and police who were training with boats on the Putumayo river 11 Ecuadorian policemen died.

By 1998, some studies showed that FARC’s ranks could have swelled to approximately some 15,000 guerrilla fighters, up from an estimated 7,500 in 1992, and effectively were in a position to control and freely operate through large rural areas of the country (the high-end estimates being about 40%-50%, according to some analysts). Other observers would dispute the current applicability of this assessment in the face of increased U.S. aid and training to the Colombia state and its military.

In 1999 NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso flew into a demilitarized region of Colombia’s southern jungle for his talks with a member of the general secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.[60][61]

Drug trafficking

The FARC is believed to have ties to narcotics traffickers, principally through the provision of armed protection and a form of “taxation” over drugs crops and their profits. During the mid- to late-1990s, several drugwar analysts have stated that the FARC would have become increasingly involved in the drug trade, controlling farming, production and exportation of cocaine in those areas of the country under their influence. This claim is also supported by U.S. and Colombian authorities.

Brazilian druglord Luiz Fernando da Costa was captured in Colombia on April 20, 2001 while in the company of FARC-EP guerrillas. Colombian and Brazilian authorities have claimed that this constitutes proof of further cooperation between the FARC-EP and the druglord based on the exchange of weapons for cocaine.[62][63][64] Fernandinho himself and the FARC-EP have denied this. FARC itself has claimed that in their areas of influence the growth of coca plants by farmers would be taxed on the same basis as any other crop, though there would be higher cash profits stemming from coca production and exportation.

In August 2006, Chilean authorities seized more than 108 kilograms of cocaine and captured twelve members of an international drug trafficking ring, which they described as being led by an unnamed Colombian in Panama who received and distributed the ring’s profits to finance FARC activities. [3]

Modus operandi

The FARC-EP has employed vehicle bombings, gas cylinder bombs, killings, landmines, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking, as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets, to attack those it considers a threat to its movement as well as civilian. It has not been uncommon for civilians to die or suffer forced displacement, directly or indirectly, due to many of these actions. The FARC-EPs April 16 and April 18, 2005 gas cylinder attacks on the town of Toribió, Cauca led to the displacement of more than two thousand indigenous inhabitants and the destruction of two dozen civilian houses. A February 2005 report from the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights mentioned that, during 2004, “FARC-EP continued to commit grave breaches [of human rights] such as murders of protected persons, torture and hostage-taking, which affected many civilians, including women, returnees, boys and girls, and ethnic groups."[65]

IEDs

The FARC’s tactic of employing a type of improvised mortars made from gas canisters (or cylinders) as explosives, a weapon it often uses when launching attacks at towns and sites in them that they consider as military objectives (such as police stations), has a high degree of inaccuracy. Resulting targeting difficulties have caused these weapons to often level civilian houses and/or harm civilians, such as the case in Toribío on April 24, 2005, and the earlier 2002 attack on a church in Bojayá which killed 119 civilians.

Attacks on civilian population

Human Rights Watch considers that “the FARC-EPs continued use of gas cylinder mortars shows this armed group’s flagrant disregard for lives of civilians...gas cylinder bombs are impossible to aim with accuracy and, as a result, frequently strike civilian objects and cause avoidable civilian casualties."[66]

Murder of three Americans

In March 1999, the FARC-EP killed three U.S. Native American rights activists, in Venezuelan territory after kidnapping them in Colombia. After initial denials and claims that these U.S. citizens were CIA agents, the FARC-EP subsequently admitted that this action was a mistake, and claimed that it would internally punish those responsible. International NGOs and observers have argued that the FARC would have yet to apply any serious punishment to those involved in the incident.

Kidnappings

The FARC-EP is responsible for most of the ransom kidnappings in Colombia. The group’s kidnapping targets are usually those that it considers wealthy landowners and businessmen, as well as foreign tourists and entrepreneurs, and prominent international and domestic officials. Colombian and international NGOs have documented that in recent years the FARC has also resorted to kidnapping people from lower income sectors (that is, from the Colombian middle class downward), in particular when they are thought to be collaborators or relatives of the FARC’s enemies. It is argued that many of these kidnappings have taken place with little to no regard for the target’s age, gender or health conditions.

In February 2005, Juan José Martínez Vega, also known as “Gentil Alvis Patiño” or “El Chigüiro”, was arrested by Venezuelan authorities during a rescue operation that freed the mother of baseball player Ugueth Urbina. According to authorities, Martínez Vega had some 600 to 650 kilograms of cocaine on location. Colombian authorities identified him as a member of FARC and accused him of exchanging cocaine for weapons in the black market. Martínez Vega had several false identity papers, including some which identified him as Gentil Albis Patiño, which delayed his initial identification. Eventually Venezuela confirmed him to be “El Chigüiro” and subsequently extradited him to Colombia.[67][68]

Arms trafficking

During the first quarter of 2005, joint intelligence and police operations by law enforcement authorities from Honduras and Colombia resulted in the seizure of a number of AK-47 and M16 assault rifles, M60 machineguns, rocket launchers and ammunition cartridges that were stated to be part of illegal weapons shipments from criminal gangs and black market dealers in Central America to the FARC in exchange for drugs, allegedly for two thousand kilos of cocaine. Ethalson Mejia Hoy, a Colombian who was illegally released from Honduran custody in July 2004 24 hours after his arrest, was named as one of the key figures in such an arms-for-drugs traffic. It was reported that “Police intelligence were monitoring communications between two 14th Front guerrillas when they heard 'the package' being discussed. In actuality the package consisted of sufficient weapons to arm a minimum of 180 combatants."[cite this quote] Arms dealers in the region were also accused of providing similar weapons to right wing paramilitaries in Colombia.[69][70]

Just in case no one knows who these guys are.

tiptap
03-06-2008, 09:29 AM
Just in case no one knows who these guys are.

I think you should also post the activities and the collusion of the right wing para military groups relationship and activities. If this was a truly one way situation then I could find it totally deplorable. But the indigent population, that would be Indians, have not been beneficiaries of the modern world and have lost lands at the wishes of the Columbian Government. Do I think Chavez is good. No. Do I think he has been democratically elected in basically fair elections, yes. Does he fear the US, well yes they went as far as recognizing a coup d'tate that didn't even come to fruition, tipping their hand of their knowledge if not their hand in this a few years back. It isn't so black and white as you would want to indicate.

tiptap
03-06-2008, 09:39 AM
As I understand it the Gringos in the FARC communications is more likely to refer to the Norwegian/UN led attempt at negotiated settlement as opposed to the US or Obama for sure. The Norwegians brought out several FARC head people to Europe, along with Columbian Government and right leaders to show how people on the left and right work things out or oppose each other in the political sphere and not the military one. And the FARC people had never met ANY white people and referred to the Ecuadorian directed introduction of the Norwegians as GRINGOS. The US has no diplomatic initiative with the FARC movement and neither does Obama.

If you want this to be a review of Columbian, Ecuadoran and Venezuelan political upheaval that would be one thing. The move to slander the Obama campaign is just weak. Any present overtures to FARC from the US hinted at in the communications would have to be WITH THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 09:48 AM
I think you should also post the activities and the collusion of the right wing para military groups relationship and activities. If this was a truly one way situation then I could find it totally deplorable. But the indigent population, that would be Indians, have not been beneficiaries of the modern world and have lost lands at the wishes of the Columbian Government. Do I think Chavez is good. No. Do I think he has been democratically elected in basically fair elections, yes. Does he fear the US, well yes they went as far as recognizing a coup d'tate that didn't even come to fruition, tipping their hand of their knowledge if not their hand in this a few years back. It isn't so black and white as you would want to indicate.

Nothing justifies their actions. And yes it is black and white. You don't kidnap innocent people and use them as leverage against the government, particularly when they have no intention of cooperating. Look at their recent activities, they spend far more time running drugs than anything else.

However, relatives of most FARC kidnapping victims have come to strongly reject any potential rescue operations, in part due to the tragic death of the governor of Antioquia department, Guillermo Gaviria, his peace advisor and several soldiers, kidnapped by the FARC during a peace march (protected by the UN symbol) in 2003. The governor and the others were shot at close range by the FARC when the military made presence in the jungle nearby.

On March 25, 2006, after a public announcement made weeks earlier, the FARC-EP released two captured policemen at La Dorada, Putumayo. The release took place some 335 miles (539 km) southwest of Bogotá, near the Ecuadorean border. The Red Cross said the two were released in good health. Military operations in the area and bad weather had prevented the release from occurring one week earlier.[46]

In a separate series of events, civilian hostage and German citizen Lothar Hintze was released by FARC on April 4, 2006, after five years in captivity. Hintze had been kidnapped for extortion purposes, and his wife had paid three ransom payments without any result.

One captive, Julian Ernesto Guevera Castro died of an unknown illness on January 28, 2006. He was a police captain and was captured on November 1, 1998.[47][48] As of early 2008, the FARC had not returned his body to the family of the deceased.[49][50][51][52]

Another captive, Fernando Araújo, later named Minister of Foreign Relations and formerly Development Minister, escaped his captors on December 31, 2006. Araújo had to walk through the jungle for five days before being found by troops in the hamlet of San Agustin, 350 miles (560 km) north of Bogotá. He was kidnapped on December 5, 2000 while exercising in the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena. He was reunited with his family on January 5, 2007.[53]

Another captive, Jhon Frank Pinchao a low ranking police officer, escaped his captors on April 28, 2007 after nine years in captivity. He was reunited with his family on May 15, 2007.

On January 10, 2008, former vice presidential candidate Clara Rojas and former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez were freed after six years in captivity.[54]

On January 31, 2008, the FARC announced that they would release three civilian hostages to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a humanitarian gesture. The captives are Luis Eladio Perez Bonilla, Gloria Polanco, and Orlando Beltran Cuellar. All of them were kidnapped in 2001. [55] On February 27, 2008, the three hostages and Jorge Eduardo Gechem Turbay (who was added to the list due to his poor health) were released by FARC. With the authorization of the Colombian government and the participation of the International Red Cross, a Venezuelan helicopter transported them to Caracas from San Jose del Guaviare.[56]

41 political captives are currently being held by the FARC.

Assassination of 11 hostage lawmakers

Main article: Valle del Cauca Deputies hostage crisis

On June 28, 2007, the FARC reported the death of 11 out of 12 provincial deputies from the Valle del Cauca Department whom the guerrillas had kidnapped in 2002. The guerrillas claimed that the deputies had been killed by crossfire during an attack by an “unidentified military group.” The Colombian government has stated that government forces had not made any rescue attempts and that the FARC executed the hostages.

The guerrillas did not report any other casualties on either side and delayed months before permitting the Red Cross to recover the remains. According to the government, the guerrillas delayed turning over the corpses in order to let decomposition hide evidence of how they died. The Red Cross reported that the corpses had been washed and their clothing changed before burial, hiding evidence of how they were killed. The Red Cross also reported that the deputies had been killed by multiple close-range shots, many of them in the back of the victims, and even two by shots to the head.[57]

These guys are really looking out for "the indigent population, that would be Indians". The concept that FARC is anything other than a band of criminals and terrorists for money is ludicrous.

tiptap
03-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Nothing justifies their actions. And yes it is black and white. You don't kidnap innocent people and use them as leverage against the government, particularly when they have no intention of cooperating. Look at their recent activities, they spend far more time running drugs than anything else.





These guys are really looking out for "the indigent population, that would be Indians". The concept that FARC is anything other than a band of criminals and terrorists for money is ludicrous.

The most notorious of Colombia’s paramilitaries, the AUC, was formed in 1997 as an umbrella organization to consolidate local paramilitary groups. Such groups, however, had existed in loose form since the late 1960s, when legislation was passed that allowed for the formation of local self-defense groups. Some paramilitaries emerged directly from these groups, while others were formed by drug lords, local political and economic elites, and organized crime. All paramilitaries sought to protect their own interests—whether land, a business, or political office. Most also operated under the ostensible ideological banner of combating members of the leftist guerrilla groups the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym, FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). While paramilitaries liked to position themselves as a necessary counter to Colombia’s leftist insurgents, ordinary Colombians were often victimized—instead of protected by—the paramilitaries. The armed groups displaced indigenous communities from their land, massacred civilians, and kidnapped political figures. As human rights groups have documented, some paramilitaries even charged “taxes” in local areas and regulated how citizens could dress.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/15239/colombias_rightwing_paramilitaries_and_splinter_groups.html

n May 2005 investigators from the Colombian judicial police (Dirección Central de Policía Judicial or DIJIN) found fifteen tons of cocaine loaded on yachts in the Colombian state of Nariño. The cocaine belonged to several different owners, including both the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, or FARC-EP) and paramilitary groups.1 Another ton of cocaine, belonging to the paramilitary block Libertadores del Sur and valued at roughly U.S.$30 million, was found the following week at the same location.2

The drug business is a major source of funding for many if not all paramilitary blocks, and it is extremely profitable. Colombia’s General Comptroller estimates that drug traffickers now control 48 percent of the best lands in the country.3 Several paramilitary commanders were deeply involved in drug trafficking even before they joined or started paramilitary groups.4

As a result, paramilitary activity in some regions is not so much directed at fighting guerrillas as at obtaining control over valuable areas. In recent years paramilitary groups have engaged in combat against one another because of the business. And there have been reports, such as that described above, suggesting that paramilitaries even work alongside the FARC-EP in some drug trafficking operations.

In interviews, demobilized paramilitary members told Human Rights Watch about their involvement in the drug business, and how it affected their armed actions. One young man who had been a squad commander said:

On the plains we had to look for chemicals. We charged the farmers who were processing the coca a tax [vacuna] of 30, 40, 50 percent. Lately, we had gotten into a fight with the Buitragos [commanders of another paramilitary group] to take over a zone. It was not a fight for Colombia. It was a drug trafficking war.5

The paramilitaries “wanted to get the guerrillas off the land because of the coca. They said that it was to liberate the people, but it’s for the coca,” said another member.

In the region of Norte de Santander, one man told us, his group made money through the coca crops that they had on land that they had “recovered” from guerrillas.

Paramilitary groups’ involvement in the drug business frequently goes beyond simply taxing growers, and includes processing and direct trafficking. One paramilitary who had been part of the Central Bolivar Block described his tasks as “buying the coca, guarding the area, and looking for guerrillas.” The local commanders would “buy the coca base from the farmers, refine it, and send it to the bosses.”

“In Casanare some commanders have laboratories. Boyaca is one of the places that is best suited for crystallization… It’s very lucrative,” said a former member of the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Casanare and Boyaca (Autodefensas Campesinas del Casanare y Boyaca or ACC). 6

A paramilitary who had operated in the Catatumbo Block told us that, because he had handled chemicals in a previous job, once he joined the paramilitary block he was sent to provide security in drug processing labs and to “participate, as a chemist, in the elaboration of coca paste.”

Aside from the drug business, paramilitaries have also traditionally financed their operations through contributions from wealthy persons. One demobilized paramilitary who had operated in the departments of Catatumbo and Cordoba said that “a majority of the money came from the large farming capitalists. They paid us as though we were their security guards.”

The forced taking of property and land are also common, a fact that has contributed to Colombia having one of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world. And, according to reliable investigative reports, paramilitaries have been closely associated with numerous other mafia-like businesses, including the sale of stolen gasoline, smuggling of contraband, and the provision of credit at usurious interest rates.7 Through extortion, they have managed not only to make money, but also to assert control over entire sectors of local economies, such as the transportation sector in Valledupar. . . .
Paramilitaries have a well-known and lengthy record of spine-chilling atrocities including massacres, killings, forced disappearances, and kidnappings.23 Many of their top commanders are wanted in Colombia for serious crimes.24

Atrocities, which under Colombian law are generally understood to encompass all serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, are frequently perpetrated even within the group itself, to punish members who disobey orders, or to train new recruits. A former paramilitary who had deserted explained:

I learned how hard it was because I remember what they did to one of our group, a young girl of fourteen who did not show up for practice and she was wrapped in burlap bags, tied up with barbed wire and burned alive. I remember her screaming and trying to get out of the bags, and with each stretch, her skin got hurt with the barbed wire. We had to set fire to the girl. We were about fifty completing the [paramilitary training] course. We were just following orders.

Other demobilized paramilitaries tried to explain their groups’ atrocities: “Because you have a power over the civilian population, you have to make the civilian population obey,” one demobilized man told us. If the civilians did not obey, he explained, they would be punished with forced labor. If they still did not obey, “other decisions would be taken.” We heard a similar explanation from a former member of the Catatumbo Block, who said that “it is stipulated that there are borders and you have to win people’s respect, and so we had to kill people to show that you could not come in or go out of certain areas.”

A man who had operated in the Catatumbo region tried to justify his involvement in massacres by arguing that “the organization didn’t do it because we felt like it; we did it for the farmers themselves…. I don’t consider it a massacre. I consider it defending a community.”

“Sometimes civilians who worked with the paracos [the paramilitaries] by giving information and doing favors died,” said a traumatized young man who had been forcibly recruited into the group and subsequently deserted. “They sometimes talked about things they shouldn’t have, and they were killed. As for people who were associated with the guerrillas, [the paramilitaries] killed even their families.” He explained that, when his group arrived at a “guerrilla town,” their commander would announce that those who had links to the guerrillas had to leave. If they did not, they would have to suffer the consequences. But, he said, “I never knew how they went about investigating them. A lot of innocent people die out there.”

http://hrw.org/reports/2005/colombia0805/2.htm#_Toc110056713

pikesome
03-06-2008, 09:57 AM
If you want this to be a review of Columbian, Ecuadoran and Venezuelan political upheaval that would be one thing. The move to slander the Obama campaign is just weak. Any present overtures to FARC from the US hinted at in the communications would have to be WITH THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION.

You mean the present administration that is currently nailing Simón Trinidad to the wall? I think the most likely is that someone, probably who has no dealings with Obama, is trying to get ahead of things. If Obama does what he says he will it'll help FARC and hurt the Columbian government. That's 100% true. There's the oportunity to make money and/or power there.

Do I think Barrack is making deals with them (FARC), no. But Obama's implimentation of his stated policies on this issue I don't like and this article points out why (among other things). Hence my problem, on one hand I have someone I feel is as trustworthy as pols get (Obama) and someone who's ideas are more in line with mine (McCain). Too bad I disagree so much with the first and can't trust the second.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 10:05 AM
The most notorious of Colombia’s paramilitaries, the AUC, was formed in 1997 as an umbrella organization to consolidate local paramilitary groups. Such groups, however, had existed in loose form since the late 1960s, when legislation was passed that allowed for the formation of local self-defense groups. Some paramilitaries emerged directly from these groups, while others were formed by drug lords, local political and economic elites, and organized crime. All paramilitaries sought to protect their own interests—whether land, a business, or political office. Most also operated under the ostensible ideological banner of combating members of the leftist guerrilla groups the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym, FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). While paramilitaries liked to position themselves as a necessary counter to Colombia’s leftist insurgents, ordinary Colombians were often victimized—instead of protected by—the paramilitaries. The armed groups displaced indigenous communities from their land, massacred civilians, and kidnapped political figures. As human rights groups have documented, some paramilitaries even charged “taxes” in local areas and regulated how citizens could dress.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/15239/colombias_rightwing_paramilitaries_and_splinter_groups.html

n May 2005 investigators from the Colombian judicial police (Dirección Central de Policía Judicial or DIJIN) found fifteen tons of cocaine loaded on yachts in the Colombian state of Nariño. The cocaine belonged to several different owners, including both the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, or FARC-EP) and paramilitary groups.1 Another ton of cocaine, belonging to the paramilitary block Libertadores del Sur and valued at roughly U.S.$30 million, was found the following week at the same location.2

The drug business is a major source of funding for many if not all paramilitary blocks, and it is extremely profitable. Colombia’s General Comptroller estimates that drug traffickers now control 48 percent of the best lands in the country.3 Several paramilitary commanders were deeply involved in drug trafficking even before they joined or started paramilitary groups.4

As a result, paramilitary activity in some regions is not so much directed at fighting guerrillas as at obtaining control over valuable areas. In recent years paramilitary groups have engaged in combat against one another because of the business. And there have been reports, such as that described above, suggesting that paramilitaries even work alongside the FARC-EP in some drug trafficking operations.

In interviews, demobilized paramilitary members told Human Rights Watch about their involvement in the drug business, and how it affected their armed actions. One young man who had been a squad commander said:

On the plains we had to look for chemicals. We charged the farmers who were processing the coca a tax [vacuna] of 30, 40, 50 percent. Lately, we had gotten into a fight with the Buitragos [commanders of another paramilitary group] to take over a zone. It was not a fight for Colombia. It was a drug trafficking war.5

The paramilitaries “wanted to get the guerrillas off the land because of the coca. They said that it was to liberate the people, but it’s for the coca,” said another member.

In the region of Norte de Santander, one man told us, his group made money through the coca crops that they had on land that they had “recovered” from guerrillas.

Paramilitary groups’ involvement in the drug business frequently goes beyond simply taxing growers, and includes processing and direct trafficking. One paramilitary who had been part of the Central Bolivar Block described his tasks as “buying the coca, guarding the area, and looking for guerrillas.” The local commanders would “buy the coca base from the farmers, refine it, and send it to the bosses.”

“In Casanare some commanders have laboratories. Boyaca is one of the places that is best suited for crystallization… It’s very lucrative,” said a former member of the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Casanare and Boyaca (Autodefensas Campesinas del Casanare y Boyaca or ACC). 6

A paramilitary who had operated in the Catatumbo Block told us that, because he had handled chemicals in a previous job, once he joined the paramilitary block he was sent to provide security in drug processing labs and to “participate, as a chemist, in the elaboration of coca paste.”

Aside from the drug business, paramilitaries have also traditionally financed their operations through contributions from wealthy persons. One demobilized paramilitary who had operated in the departments of Catatumbo and Cordoba said that “a majority of the money came from the large farming capitalists. They paid us as though we were their security guards.”

The forced taking of property and land are also common, a fact that has contributed to Colombia having one of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world. And, according to reliable investigative reports, paramilitaries have been closely associated with numerous other mafia-like businesses, including the sale of stolen gasoline, smuggling of contraband, and the provision of credit at usurious interest rates.7 Through extortion, they have managed not only to make money, but also to assert control over entire sectors of local economies, such as the transportation sector in Valledupar. . . .
Paramilitaries have a well-known and lengthy record of spine-chilling atrocities including massacres, killings, forced disappearances, and kidnappings.23 Many of their top commanders are wanted in Colombia for serious crimes.24

Atrocities, which under Colombian law are generally understood to encompass all serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, are frequently perpetrated even within the group itself, to punish members who disobey orders, or to train new recruits. A former paramilitary who had deserted explained:

I learned how hard it was because I remember what they did to one of our group, a young girl of fourteen who did not show up for practice and she was wrapped in burlap bags, tied up with barbed wire and burned alive. I remember her screaming and trying to get out of the bags, and with each stretch, her skin got hurt with the barbed wire. We had to set fire to the girl. We were about fifty completing the [paramilitary training] course. We were just following orders.

Other demobilized paramilitaries tried to explain their groups’ atrocities: “Because you have a power over the civilian population, you have to make the civilian population obey,” one demobilized man told us. If the civilians did not obey, he explained, they would be punished with forced labor. If they still did not obey, “other decisions would be taken.” We heard a similar explanation from a former member of the Catatumbo Block, who said that “it is stipulated that there are borders and you have to win people’s respect, and so we had to kill people to show that you could not come in or go out of certain areas.”

A man who had operated in the Catatumbo region tried to justify his involvement in massacres by arguing that “the organization didn’t do it because we felt like it; we did it for the farmers themselves…. I don’t consider it a massacre. I consider it defending a community.”

“Sometimes civilians who worked with the paracos [the paramilitaries] by giving information and doing favors died,” said a traumatized young man who had been forcibly recruited into the group and subsequently deserted. “They sometimes talked about things they shouldn’t have, and they were killed. As for people who were associated with the guerrillas, [the paramilitaries] killed even their families.” He explained that, when his group arrived at a “guerrilla town,” their commander would announce that those who had links to the guerrillas had to leave. If they did not, they would have to suffer the consequences. But, he said, “I never knew how they went about investigating them. A lot of innocent people die out there.”

http://hrw.org/reports/2005/colombia0805/2.htm#_Toc110056713

So just because another group is hiding behind the banner of "combating the FARC" to run drugs and extort for profit it's OK for FARC to do the same? They're both terrorist groups. It's about money and power, not political change, for both/all of these groups.

Once again, nothing justifies FARC's actions. Nothing. This is worse even than suicide bombers in Israel (which is unsupportable too). FARC is the Medellin Cartel dressed up in fatigues, the politics are 90% BS.

tiptap
03-06-2008, 10:13 AM
You mean the present administration that is currently nailing Simón Trinidad to the wall? I think the most likely is that someone, probably who has no dealings with Obama, is trying to get ahead of things. If Obama does what he says he will it'll help FARC and hurt the Columbian government. That's 100% true. There's the oportunity to make money and/or power there.

Do I think Barrack is making deals with them (FARC), no. But Obama's implimentation of his stated policies on this issue I don't like and this article points out why (among other things). Hence my problem, on one hand I have someone I feel is as trustworthy as pols get (Obama) and someone who's ideas are more in line with mine (McCain). Too bad I disagree so much with the first and can't trust the second.

I told you who this was. It is the Norwegians/UN contingent. And I provided cited references to the atrocities and focus of right wing groups that were just as vicious in gaining power. Both groups mirrored each other in tactics and control of property. It was not one sided.

And yes I have NO illusion that any US diplomatic effort has been made toward FARC by this administration. And there has been no other effort made for any American governmental figure. As such this tie is fallacious.

I can see that you think diplomacy is only required at the end of the gun settling things in favor of the winner of armed encounters. Perpetuating for both sides, that violence is the only solution. OK. I understand your vote for McCain. But this tripe does little to assuage those who start with the assumption that there can be negotiated solutions apart from armed conflict.

tiptap
03-06-2008, 10:19 AM
So just because another group is hiding behind the banner of "combating the FARC" to run drugs and extort for profit it's OK for FARC to do the same? They're both terrorist groups. It's about money and power, not political change, for both/all of these groups.

Once again, nothing justifies FARC's actions. Nothing. This is worse even than suicide bombers in Israel (which is unsupportable too). FARC is the Medellin Cartel dressed up in fatigues, the politics are 90% BS.

The question is who had the governmental backing. The right wing groups had governmental sanctions and no oversight. Their activities were not any different than the 'storm trooper' Nazi paramilitary operations tolerated in Germany. The influence of Nazi thought and transfer of Nazis to S. America is well documented. To think that FARC would not respond in kind is naive. To think that atrocities are to ONLY or OVERWHELMINGLY to be seen from one side is not the case at all.

I am not going to defend either groups actions. But your piece has been one sided and dishonest with its implication about Obama overtures. I leave this thread now so you can return to you jaundiced diatribe.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 10:27 AM
I told you who this was. It is the Norwegians/UN contingent. And I provided cited references to the atrocities and focus of right wing groups that were just as vicious in gaining power. Both groups mirrored each other in tactics and control of property. It was not one sided.

We agree. Nothing justifies FARC's actions though.

And yes I have NO illusion that any US diplomatic effort has been made toward FARC by this administration. And there has been no other effort made for any American governmental figure. As such this tie is fallacious.

I'll agree, mostly. That's why I wanted the article quoted 100%. On the other hand you have to admit that if FARC has an opinion, they'd rather see Obama than McCain. I'm not going to say this the reason not to vote for Obama but this is the sort of thing Obama's policies make me worried about.

I can see that you think diplomacy is only required at the end of the gun settling things in favor of the winner of armed encounters. Perpetuating for both sides, that violence is the only solution. OK. I understand your vote for McCain. But this tripe does little to assuage those who start with the assumption that there can be negotiated solutions apart from armed conflict.

You don't negotiate with terrorists and/or criminals. Is this the way you'd deal with the Crips or the Cosa Nostra or the Solntsevskaya bratva (Russian organized crime)?

Why do you think I'm voting for McCain? Could it be my repeated references to him being a "lying scumbag"? I accused him of a willingness to sell his mother in to slavery for face time on CNN, does that sound like my pick for Pres? Pull your head out of your ass, politics isn't as simple as picking a team and waving your pom poms. A bit of independent thought wouldn't hurt anyone.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 10:28 AM
I am not going to defend either groups actions. But your piece has been one sided and dishonest with its implication about Obama overtures. I leave this thread now so you can return to you jaundiced diatribe.

It wasn't my piece, I didn't write it and it's the only article I found on the major news outlets.

tiptap
03-06-2008, 10:39 AM
We agree. Nothing justifies FARC's actions though.



I'll agree, mostly. That's why I wanted the article quoted 100%. On the other hand you have to admit that if FARC has an opinion, they'd rather see Obama than McCain. I'm not going to say this the reason not to vote for Obama but this is the sort of thing Obama's policies make me worried about.



You don't negotiate with terrorists and/or criminals. Is this the way you'd deal with the Crips or the Cosa Nostra or the Solntsevskaya bratva (Russian organized crime)?

Why do you think I'm voting for McCain? Could it be my repeated references to him being a "lying scumbag"? I accused him of a willingness to sell his mother in to slavery for face time on CNN, does that sound like my pick for Pres? Pull your head out of your ass, politics isn't as simple as picking a team and waving your pom poms. A bit of independent thought wouldn't hurt anyone.


One last statement sorry. The negotiated resolve of N. Ireland was possible because disenfranchised groups saw their grievances represented in government. Additionally solutions to some concerns were addressed. It may not be the model for this conflict but the attempts to engage groups, including Crips or Bloods, and move them away from violent acts has to be part of the process as well. I mean you can seek annihilation but that means you have concluded that people CANNOT change, that the people have no free will and there is the only one solution. It is a narrow view to hold only.

Also I don't think FARC has enough interaction with anyone outside of their local area to formulate knowing opinion of which American candidate would be best for them. It isn't on their radar screen. All politics are local.

And I apologize if I attribute this article to you, but you did add the BOLD TYPE. It would have been more appropriate to re quote that part to make your point in a following entry in the thread.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 10:48 AM
One last statement sorry. The negotiated resolve of N. Ireland was possible because disenfranchised groups saw their grievances represented in government. Additionally solutions to some concerns were addressed. It may not be the model for this conflict but the attempts to engage groups, including Crips or Bloods, and move them away from violent acts has to be part of the process as well. I mean you can seek annihilation but that means you have concluded that people CANNOT change, that the people have no free will and there is the only one solution. It is a narrow view to hold only.

The problem is that with all the groups mentioned, money is the motivating factor now. Maybe it wasn't in the beginning but it is now. Even if you could engage them, these are exactly the people you do not want in the government. That's how you get a government that's worse than before.

Also I don't think FARC has enough interaction with anyone outside of their local area to formulate knowing opinion of which American candidate would be best for them. It isn't on their radar screen. All politics are local.

The info from that laptop implies differently. It might all be a put up job (and if it is, damn, it's some fine work) but it's still a nugget to chew on.

Also, in the international drug business, US politics are market research. Any competent business man would be watching.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 10:50 AM
And I apologize if I attribute this article to you, but you did add the BOLD TYPE. It would have been more appropriate to re quote that part to make your point in a following entry in the thread.

This is true, it did appear I was making too much of the Obama link.

I didn't think the whole Chavez strolling hand in hand with FARC part would get so little reaction though.

NewChief
03-06-2008, 10:53 AM
I didn't think the whole Chavez strolling hand in hand with FARC part would get so little reaction though.

It doesn't surprise me that much. Chavez is a socialist. The FARC are a marxist revolutionary group. It stands to reason that he'd support him. I would imagine Chavez has a Castro like vision of a united socialist South America. The leftist roots run deep in SA.

pikesome
03-06-2008, 10:59 AM
It doesn't surprise me that much. Chavez is a socialist. The FARC are a marxist revolutionary group. It stands to reason that he'd support him. I would imagine Chavez has a Castro like vision of a united socialist South America. The leftist roots run deep in SA.

FARC isn't a political group anymore. Not really. They're criminals, people who plan and do violence for money. They're not the only ones as tiptap pointed out but they aren't people you should want to align with.

BigOlChiefsfan
03-07-2008, 05:53 PM
Second senior Farc rebel 'killed' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7284222.stm)

The Colombian government says another senior commander of the Farc rebel group has been killed. Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Ivan Rios had been killed by his own men. Earlier the army had claimed he had died in combat with its troops.
The reported death comes less than a week after another top commander Farc leader, Raul Reyes, was killed by troops in a raid just inside Ecuador.
That killing sparked a diplomatic row, with Ecuador denouncing the incursion.
Ivan Rios - whose real name was Manuel Munoz Ortiz - was the youngest member of the seven-man secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
He is said to have been killed in a mountainous area of the western province of Caldas.
Mr Santos said the Farc's chief of security gave Colombian troops the leader's severed hand as proof of his death (and Rios' laptop, per later reports).

patteeu
03-08-2008, 08:21 AM
I actually find this very interesting. :hmmm:

Yes it is. Thanks for posting it pikesome.

Second senior Farc rebel 'killed' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7284222.stm)

The Colombian government says another senior commander of the Farc rebel group has been killed. Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Ivan Rios had been killed by his own men. Earlier the army had claimed he had died in combat with its troops.
The reported death comes less than a week after another top commander Farc leader, Raul Reyes, was killed by troops in a raid just inside Ecuador.
That killing sparked a diplomatic row, with Ecuador denouncing the incursion.
Ivan Rios - whose real name was Manuel Munoz Ortiz - was the youngest member of the seven-man secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
He is said to have been killed in a mountainous area of the western province of Caldas.
Mr Santos said the Farc's chief of security gave Colombian troops the leader's severed hand as proof of his death (and Rios' laptop, per later reports).

I wonder why his own men killed him?

patteeu
03-08-2008, 08:37 AM
I told you who this was. It is the Norwegians/UN contingent.

I find your defensiveness on this subject fascinating. And your confidence on this particular point seems strange, given the clear language of the article:

Writing two days before his death, Reyes tells his secretariat comrades that "the gringos," working through Ecuador's government, are interested "in talking to us on various issues."

"They say the new president of their country will be (Barack) Obama," noting that Obama rejects both the Bush administration's free trade agreement with Colombia and the current military aid program.

The "They" at the beginning of the second paragraph seems to clearly refer to "the gringos" and it doesn't make any sense at all to suggest that Barack Obama is about to be the new president of Norway.

I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask Obama whether his team is involved in any informal contacts in South America, particularly with anti-American elements in Venezuala, Ecuador, or FARC? For that matter, I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask the Bush administration whether they know what the FARC document means.

tiptap
03-08-2008, 08:41 AM
Yes it is. Thanks for posting it pikesome.



I wonder why his own men killed him?

Let's go back to the Norwegian attempt to move toward a negotiated settlement. The FARC contingent had never met or talked to ANY gringos. In this case they even for the first time got out of the country. I don't remember which of the FARC leaders was taken to Europe, but there was a humanizing of the the different sides towards each other. The FARC leaders actually were being wooed. But when they got back to the jungles they were chastised by those who did not make the trip for being duped or worse. This had to put pressure about how to move forward among the participants. I do know that the man killed last week by the Columbians was one of the FARC who did not go to Europe. He was a "hard liner." There had to be suspicion that his location was revealed by rivals and ones who were more interested in a negotiated solution. So I think this is why we see FARC having trouble. We may have lost those seeking negotiated solutions as well. The status quo will be perpetuated and in the short run FARC will be set back. Speculation as to which faction prevails is a crap shoot.

tiptap
03-08-2008, 08:55 AM
I find your defensiveness on this subject fascinating. And your confidence on this particular point seems strange, given the clear language of the article:
The "They" at the beginning of the second paragraph seems to clearly refer to "the gringos" and it doesn't make any sense at all to suggest that Barack Obama is about to be the new president of Norway.



I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask Obama whether his team is involved in any informal contacts in South America, particularly with anti-American elements in Venezuala, Ecuador, or FARC? For that matter, I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask the Bush administration whether they know what the FARC document means.

Here is a NPR interview with Jan Egeland who was the UN person who spear headed the intervention. He clearly states that his group was referred to as gringos. And that the FARC contingent didn't differentiate between one outsider or another. I don't have access to the actual documents released by the Columbians. I don't know know how much editing was introduced.
http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=3-4-2008

So you want me to believe that Obama's operation has time and focus to send envoys out to the jungles of Columbia. It is too convenient to suggest that Obama has a world wide movement. That it makes sense to set up a parallel government operation rather than winning the Presidency and having legitimate claim to US resources to set policy. That the Columbians have no interest in influencing US outcome either. The quickness of the release of this information just strikes me as peculiar.

That someone tried to influence the FARC members with the hope and expectations that the Presidency of the US might change focus came from the group that included the Italians. It was all talk, not official declarations, and the FARC members are not sophisticated enough to parse and differentiate who they are talking to and how things really relate in the world at large. They would easily confuse the UN envoys and US politics as one and the same and equally be confused about American political landscape. Where is your skepticism patteeu. It wasn't there back at the beginning of the news cycles about Iraq and it isn't here now. And this is about as stupid of invented intrigue, half-truths and down right ridiculousness.

banyon
03-08-2008, 06:39 PM
$300 Million from Chavez to FARC a Fake

By Greg Palast

http://www.gregpalast.com/300-million-from-chavez-to-farc-a-fake/

Global Research, March 8, 2008
TomPaine.com

http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2008/03/07/bush-uribe.jpg

Here’s the written evidence … and - please say it ain’t so! - Obama and Hillary attack Ecuador

Do you believe this?

This past weekend, Colombia invaded Ecuador, killed a guerrilla chief in the jungle, opened his laptop – and what did the Colombians find? A message to Hugo Chavez that he sent the FARC guerrillas $300 million – which they’re using to obtain uranium to make a dirty bomb!

That’s what George Bush tells us. And he got that from his buddy, the strange right-wing President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe.

So: After the fact, Colombia justifies its attempt to provoke a border war as a way to stop the threat of WMDs! Uh, where have we heard that before?

The US press snorted up this line about Chavez’ $300 million to “terrorists” quicker than the young Bush inhaling Colombia’s powdered export.

What the US press did not do is look at the evidence, the email in the magic laptop. (Presumably, the FARC leader’s last words were, “Listen, my password is ….”)

I read them. (You can read them here) While you can read it all in español, here is, in translation, the one and only mention of the alleged $300 million from Chavez:

“… With relation to the 300, which from now on we will call “dossier,” efforts are now going forward at the instructions of the boss to the cojo [slang term for ‘cripple’], which I will explain in a separate note. Let’s call the boss Ángel, and the cripple Ernesto.”

Got that? Where is Hugo? Where’s 300 million? And 300 what? Indeed, in context, the note is all about the hostage exchange with the FARC that Chavez was working on at the time (December 23, 2007) at the request of the Colombian government.

Indeed, the entire remainder of the email is all about the mechanism of the hostage exchange. Here’s the next line: “To receive the three freed ones, Chavez proposes three options: Plan A. Do it to via of a ‘humanitarian caravan’; one that will involve Venezuela, France, the Vatican[?], Switzerland, European Union, democrats [civil society], Argentina, Red Cross, etc.”

As to the 300, I must note that the FARC’s previous prisoner exchange involved 300 prisoners. Is that what the ‘300’ refers to? ¿Quien sabe? Unlike Uribe, Bush and the US press, I won’t guess or make up a phastasmogoric story about Chavez mailing checks to the jungle.

To bolster their case, the Colombians claim, with no evidence whatsoever, that the mysterious “Angel” is the code name for Chavez. But in the memo, Chavez goes by the code name … Chavez.

Well, so what? This is what . . . . Colombia’s invasion into Ecuador is a rank violation of international law, condemned by every single Latin member of the Organization of American States. But George Bush just loved it. He called Uribe to back Colombia, against, “the continuing assault by narco-terrorists as well as the provocative maneuvers by the regime in Venezuela.”

Well, our President may have gotten the facts ass-backward, but Bush knows what he’s doing: shoring up his last, faltering ally in South America, Uribe, a desperate man in deep political trouble.

Uribe claims he is going to bring charges against Chavez before the International Criminal Court. If Uribe goes there in person, I suggest he take a toothbrush: it was just discovered that right-wing death squads held murder-planning sessions at Uribe’s ranch. Uribe’s associates have been called before the nation’s Supreme Court and may face prison.

In other words, it’s a good time for a desperate Uribe to use that old politico’s wheeze, the threat of war, to drown out accusations of his own criminality. Furthermore, Uribe’s attack literally killed negotiations with FARC by killing FARC’s negotiator, Raul Reyes. Reyes was in talks with both Ecuador and Chavez about another prisoner exchange. Uribe authorized the negotiations. However, Uribe knew, should those talks have succeeded in obtaining the release of those kidnapped by the FARC, credit would have been heaped on Ecuador and Chavez, and discredit heaped on Uribe.

Luckily for a hemisphere on the verge of flames, the President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa, is one of the most level-headed, thoughtful men I’ve ever encountered.

Correa is now flying from Quito to Brazilia to Caracas to keep the region from blowing sky high. While moving troops to his border – no chief of state can permit foreign tanks on their sovereign soil – Correa also refuses sanctuary to the FARC . Indeed, Ecuador has routed out 47 FARC bases, a better track record than Colombia’s own, corrupt military.

For his cool, peaceable handling of the crisis, I will forgive Correa for apologizing for his calling Bush, “a dimwitted President who has done great damage to his country and the world.” (Watch an excerpt of my interview with Correa here.)

Amateur Hour in Blue

We can trust Correa to keep the peace South of the Border. But can we trust our Presidents-to-be?

The current man in the Oval Office, George Bush, simply can’t help himself: an outlaw invasion by a right-wing death-squad promoter is just fine with him.

But guess who couldn’t wait to parrot the Bush line? Hillary Clinton, still explaining that her vote to invade Iraq was not a vote to invade Iraq, issued a statement nearly identical to Bush’s, blessing the invasion of Ecuador as Colombia’s “right to defend itself.” And she added, “Hugo Chávez must stop these provoking actions.” Huh?

I assumed that Obama wouldn’t jump on this landmine – especially after he was blasted as a foreign policy amateur for suggesting he would invade across Pakistan’s border to hunt terrorists.

It’s embarrassing that Barack repeated Hillary’s line nearly verbatim, announcing, “the Colombian government has every right to defend itself.”

(I’m sure Hillary’s position wasn’t influenced by the loan of a campaign jet to her by Frank Giustra. Giustra has given over a hundred million dollars to Bill Clinton projects. Last year, Bill introduced Giustra to Colombia’s Uribe. On the spot, Giustra cut a lucrative deal with Uribe for Colombian oil.)

Then there’s Mr. War Hero. John McCain weighed in with his own idiocies, announcing that, “Hugo Chavez is establish[ing] a dictatorship,” presumably because, unlike George Bush, Chavez counts all the votes in Venezuelan elections.

But now our story gets tricky and icky.

The wise media critic Jeff Cohen told me to watch for the press naming McCain as a foreign policy expert and labeling the Democrats as amateurs. Sure enough, the New York Times, on the news pages Wednesday, called McCain, “a national security pro.”

McCain is the “pro” who said the war in Iraq would cost nearly nothing in lives or treasury dollars.

But, on the Colombian invasion of Ecuador, McCain said, “I hope that tensions will be relaxed, President Chavez will remove those troops from the borders - as well as the Ecuadorians - and relations continue to improve between the two.”

It’s not quite English, but it’s definitely not Bush. And weirdly, it’s definitely not Obama and Clinton cheerleading Colombia’s war on Ecuador.

Democrats, are you listening? The only thing worse than the media attacking Obama and Clinton as amateurs is the Democratic candidates’ frightening desire to prove them right.

pikesome
03-08-2008, 06:47 PM
This guy might be right but the tone he writes in makes it hard to believe him. Anyone else writing the same stuff?

banyon
03-08-2008, 06:50 PM
This guy might be right but the tone he writes in makes it hard to believe him. Anyone else writing the same stuff?

He's pretty slanted, ergo my disclaimer. I didn't see anything else, but it may take a while for this to sort itself out. Not speaking spanish doesn't help me look.

patteeu
03-09-2008, 11:16 AM
Here is a NPR interview with Jan Egeland who was the UN person who spear headed the intervention. He clearly states that his group was referred to as gringos. And that the FARC contingent didn't differentiate between one outsider or another. I don't have access to the actual documents released by the Columbians. I don't know know how much editing was introduced.
http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=3-4-2008

So you want me to believe that Obama's operation has time and focus to send envoys out to the jungles of Columbia. It is too convenient to suggest that Obama has a world wide movement. That it makes sense to set up a parallel government operation rather than winning the Presidency and having legitimate claim to US resources to set policy. That the Columbians have no interest in influencing US outcome either. The quickness of the release of this information just strikes me as peculiar.

That someone tried to influence the FARC members with the hope and expectations that the Presidency of the US might change focus came from the group that included the Italians. It was all talk, not official declarations, and the FARC members are not sophisticated enough to parse and differentiate who they are talking to and how things really relate in the world at large. They would easily confuse the UN envoys and US politics as one and the same and equally be confused about American political landscape. Where is your skepticism patteeu. It wasn't there back at the beginning of the news cycles about Iraq and it isn't here now. And this is about as stupid of invented intrigue, half-truths and down right ridiculousness.

My skepticism is well represented here. I'm skeptical that Obama had people reaching out to the FARC (*through* Ecuador, btw, not *in* the Columbian jungles), but I'm also skeptical about the idea that FARC leadership has trouble distinguishing "gringos" from Norway from "gringos" from the US. We've already seen that Obama agents made contact with the Candians through Canadian officials in the US so it's not completely beyond the realm of possibility that they could do the same through Equadorian officials in the US although I admit that I can't think of anything that Obama reasonably has to gain through such contacts.

While I'm sure that FARC has plenty of illiterate, isolated rubes in it's fold, I think it's naive to believe that they are all completely unsophisticated. Maybe the article misrepresents the reality, but the article implies strongly that the gringos were US gringos.

pikesome
03-09-2008, 11:42 AM
While I'm sure that FARC has plenty of illiterate, isolated rubes in it's fold, I think it's naive to believe that they are all completely unsophisticated. Maybe the article misrepresents the reality, but the article implies strongly that the gringos were US gringos.

I'm sure they were Americans. People who looked around and saw that a Obama win (if his foreign policy matches his stated aims) would be good for FARC and decided to profit. Being in business with serious drug producers is probably lucrative. Think the young college grad from New Jack City.

tiptap
03-09-2008, 02:58 PM
In Brazil, Mr. Correa speculated late Tuesday that Colombia targeted Mr. Reyes “to prevent a deal for the liberation of the hostages from going forward.”

The FARC freed four hostages last week, and Mr. Chavez had pledged to try to win freedom for others, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

The rebels said Tuesday that Mr. Reyes died “completing a mission to arrange, through President Chavez, a meeting” with French President Nicolas Sarkozy aimed at securing Ms. Betancourt's release.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080305.wsouthamerica0305/BNStory/International/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080305.wsouthamerica0305

Colombia's military killed Raul Reyes, a leader of Colombia's biggest guerrilla group, in a predawn air strike against his camp in neighboring Ecuador. Colombian troops crossed into Ecuador after the strike to collect bodies.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=aadhO1YJPjhU&refer=latin_america

On Saturday, March 1, Colombian military forces attacked an encampment of the FARC, the largest Colombian guerilla group, across the Ecuadorian border. The strike, in violation of international law, reportedly killed up to 20 guerrillas in their sleep. Among those killed was Raúl Reyes, a top FARC commander. The attack has sparked a regional crisis and raised fears of a spreading armed conflict.

The move against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was immediately denounced by leaders across Latin America as an attack on Ecuador's territorial sovereignty. These two central facts -- that Colombia initiated the crisis and that the attack was widely condemned -- would be hard to glean from the pages of the New York Times and other major U.S. media. . . .
Colombia at first denied entering Ecuadorian territory. According to Correa, Uribe informed him that there had been a clash between FARC and troops near the border. But Ecuador found 15 guerillas dead and two wounded when troops were sent to the border to investigate. Colombian troops actually entered up to 10 kilometers into Ecuadorian territory. To this revelation, Correa responded, "President Uribe was either misinformed or was lying."

http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/denvir050308.html


From the above sources we can say that Colombian's initial attack was from the air. It isn't clear whether it was jets or helicopters but it is clear that the Colombians only later might have sent troops 10 miles into Ecuador. It is only then that the computer information was retrieved. A day or two later the Ecuadorians were sent to verify the Colombians did not enter Ecuadorian territory. And they found the dead bodies and two wounded individuals. So here are the questions. Why weren't the wounded killed when the ground troops of Colombia arrived? You want me to believe that those troops didn't identify the killed to verify that got their man? And then left the wounded alive? But that is the story to explain the computer confiscation so they could justify this excursion.
And it seems there is motive to keep the 500 million from the US to Colombia and to short circuit the Venezuelean negotiated release of kidnapped people. That isn't small change. No wonder the Colombians want people to believe 300 million is being paid by Venezuela.

tiptap
03-09-2008, 03:16 PM
Here is a video of the trip in. It looks at night at first. But then ends at day. But we get no real clear pictures of anything.

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/03/chavez-phone-call-doomed-raul-reyes.html

How did that computer and briefcase do so well. I need to buy them considering the burned out camp scene and looking so pristine.

tiptap
03-09-2008, 03:22 PM
Here is the French view

The French government has not denied this account. Indeed, on Monday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told the media, “It’s bad news that the man we were talking to, with whom we had contacts has been killed. Do you see how ugly the world is?”

Meanwhile, a French deputy foreign minister confirmed the role played by Chavez in mediating the Sarkozy-FARC hostage negotiations. “President Chavez has taken the initiative, he had taken the initiative earlier on that had allowed for the release of several hostages even though the situation had been blocked for some time, so we are aware of his involvement and the important role he has played,” the minister, Rama Yade, told a news conference in Geneva.

After the news of Reyes’s assassination, the French foreign ministry issued a pointed statement to the effect that the Colombian government was well informed that France was conducting negotiations with him.

http://www.mathaba.net/0_index.shtml?x=584667

tiptap
03-09-2008, 03:48 PM
Here is the initial Colombian announcement.

http://www.cgfm.mil.co/CGFMPortal/index.jsp?option=noticiaDisplay&idNoti=1109&globalLang=ale

tiptap
03-09-2008, 03:51 PM
Here is the Colombian explanation for the most recent FARC death. I buy it.

Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos later told reporters Rios was assassinated by one of his own fighters. The chief bodyguard to Rios took credit for the killing, chopped off the right hand of his late boss and turned it over as proof, Santos said.

Colombia has increased the rewards it pays to those who help capture or kill guerrillas. Rios had a $2.6 million price on his head.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N07609448.htm

pikesome
03-09-2008, 03:53 PM
It's Wikipedia so take your own idea about it's accuracy but...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarian_exchange

Both Chavez and France appear to be negotiating with FARC around/behind Columbia's back and for their own purposes. FARC's demands, the DMZ in particular, doesn't look like something the Colombian Gov should or could ever agree to. I'd also be a bit concerned if a foreign HOS was talking to my military directly too. Especially if that HOS had ordered tanks to the border.

I would like to see some more proof from that laptop, if you can't see the gun or the smoke it's not a "smoking gun".

tiptap
03-09-2008, 04:15 PM
Let me repeat, I have no wish to support the FARC movement. They can die. I am just not interested in supporting the Colombian regime either. I am not looking for a CIA supported coup in Ecuador OR Venezuela. I want the vote to decide their leaders.

tiptap
03-09-2008, 04:31 PM
But suggesting Obama has sought or moved on this scene is hogwash. Yet both pikesome and patteeu have no trouble building worlds from sentences with Obama at the center of a cabal of evil.

pikesome
03-09-2008, 06:00 PM
But suggesting Obama has sought or moved on this scene is hogwash. Yet both pikesome and patteeu have no trouble building worlds from sentences with Obama at the center of a cabal of evil.

Not I. Obama's stated desires would be preferred by FARC but I never assigned any evil to it. There's a difference between doing it because Barack thinks it's the right policy and doing it because it'd make FARC happy.

I just don't like the policy and this is part of the why.

patteeu
03-09-2008, 07:21 PM
I'm sure they were Americans. People who looked around and saw that a Obama win (if his foreign policy matches his stated aims) would be good for FARC and decided to profit. Being in business with serious drug producers is probably lucrative. Think the young college grad from New Jack City.

This makes a lot more sense than tip taps's theory that FARC are too dumb to know the difference between US gringos and Norwegian gringos.

patteeu
03-09-2008, 07:22 PM
But suggesting Obama has sought or moved on this scene is hogwash. Yet both pikesome and patteeu have no trouble building worlds from sentences with Obama at the center of a cabal of evil.

As opposed to you making up a story about Norwegian gringos out of thin air.

I didn't accuse Obama of anything, btw.

tiptap
03-09-2008, 08:20 PM
As opposed to you making up a story about Norwegian gringos out of thin air.

I didn't accuse Obama of anything, btw.

I gave you the NPR story reference. You don't have to go far in the recording about 2 minutes and the rebels says this is the first gringo he has ever met alive. Half of the guys that went to Europe had never been out of the jungle. Are they really going to be sophisticated in knowing if who is talking to them is a representative or not. Now you want me to believe the Colombians. Who have had just as much cocaine and killing as FARC. They get 600 million dollars from the US. And mobile phone location so they can launch a aerial attack. And the promise of Free Trade status if they follow Bush lead. Because we are to believe that FARC is going to launch a nuclear attack, at least a dirty bomb, against the US. I don't know who talked about Obama with these people but I don't believe this administrations take coming from Colombia without a great deal more evidence.

I show the goddamn film. And out of a burning ruin they locate pristine papers and a nearly new computer. They claim they went on site and retrieve the two main guys bodies but left wounded according to the Ecuadorians. They knew this guy had been starting to release prisoners through Chevez (too bad overall but who are they to trust) and was dealing with the French and Chavez called to congratulate them in encouragement and signs their death warrant in their sleep. No wonder Chavez feels guilty and mad at first. Hell he knows what is means to have a CIA plot directed at him. All I am asking is that let them fight it out without us. I ain't afraid of some jungle terrorist in S. America unless I start funding the war and attacks. If It is important to Colombia let them get on it on their own.

BigOlChiefsfan
03-12-2008, 09:00 PM
A few more notes from the laptop.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080310/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/colombian_rebels;_ylt=AuJO_js2YTF860cyzfzV0uu3IxIF

BigOlChiefsfan
03-15-2008, 05:08 PM
Colombia Pays Rebel in Boss's Murder as FARC Weakens (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=aU6CZYWTKBP4&refer=latin_america)


By Helen Murphy

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ordered a reward paid to a former rebel who killed his commander, setting aside moral concerns as the government tries to provoke betrayals among the weakening insurgents.

Pedro Pablo Montoya, known as Rojas, will get part of a $2.7 million reward for slaying Ivan Rios, a top commander in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Rojas, Rios' security chief, turned on his boss while troops closed in, then cut off the dead man's hand as evidence and surrendered with Rios' computer. Three other informants will share the reward.

``We pay for information and other types of collaboration,'' Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told reporters today in Bogota. ``What we have in that computer is very valuable information.''

Uribe, whose policy of paying informants has been central to his offensive against the rebels, is betting the reward will set off infighting in the FARC, further sapping the guerrillas' strength after they suffered their biggest setbacks in 44 years of war. In the past two weeks, two members of the FARC's seven- man leadership have been killed, while many of the group's secrets have been exposed on computers seized by the military.

`Deterioration'

``The Rios case demonstrates the level of deterioration in morale within the FARC,'' Santos said. ``In no way did they engage in combat with troops to protect the leadership. Instead they preferred to abandon him and hide.''

Before deciding to pay the reward, Uribe raised concerns it would prompt paramilitary groups he's trying to demobilize to hunt for other wanted guerrillas. Uribe also said paying Rojas for a homicide -- Rios was shot in the head while asleep -- was problematic for a ``nation of laws.'' Rojas also killed Rios's girlfriend.

``We cannot stimulate massacres,'' Uribe, 55, said, according to remarks posted on the presidential Web site.

The government, too, had to consider that Rojas joined the FARC 16 years ago, was under investigation for involvement in mass killings, and worked with Rios, who the U.S. State Department said was responsible for setting the FARC's policy on production and distribution of cocaine. He also only turned on the FARC when capture seemed inevitable.

Combat Deaths

How the reward is divided between Rojas and the other informants will be established in a committee, Santos said.

``Rojas will receive a significant sum for the strategic information contained in Rios's computer,'' Santos said.

Rios's murder follows the March 1 killing by Colombian troops of Raul Reyes, the FARC's second in command. Five members of Rios battalion also gave themselves up.

``The FARC is in trouble,'' said Stephen Donehoo, Latin American specialist at consulting company Kissinger McLarty Associates in Washington. ``There is increasing evidence that mid-level and frontline commanders are demoralized and considering turning themselves in.''

In the past year, the rebels also lost four key fighters, including Negro Acacio, who helped run drug operations; Martin Caballero, a commander of guerrillas in Caribbean coastal areas; JJ, who ran an urban wing of the group; and Martin Sombra, one of top leader Manuel Marulanda's closest aides. Carlos Antonio Losada, head of the eastern wing of the FARC was injured in an attack and may have died, according to the government.

Rebel Succession

On March 12, troops killed a guerrilla known by the alias Genaro, second in command of one of the FARC's most active and bloody columns known as the Teofilo Forero Mobile Column.

Santos said information provided by Rojas has enabled the army to intensify operations against two guerrilla fronts in Antioquia, Caldas and Choco provinces.

The FARC, financed by kidnapping and drug trafficking, is led by 77-year-old founder Marulanda, who may be in Venezuela and suffering from cancer. Disease and combat casualties have cut the FARC's ranks to about 8,000 fighters from more than 17,000 at its peak, according to government figures.

Uribe's strategy of sending battalions deep into the jungles to seek out FARC hubs and encampments -- instead of the more defensive policies of previous governments -- has helped cut kidnappings by 83 percent to 486 last year and terrorist attacks by 76 percent to 387 in 2007, the Defense Ministry says. He also boosted troop strength by 44 percent.

U.S. Funding

``Once the old boy Marulanda dies there will be no unifying force in the FARC,'' said Adam Isacson, director at the Center for International Policy in Washington. ``There's no line of succession and they are having a power struggle at a time when they can't use communication without being caught.''

Reyes' use of his satellite telephone enabled troops to pinpoint his camp inside Ecuador for the attack that killed him.

Cracks in the rebels' leadership surfaced in December when FARC leaders promised to release a child captive who was later discovered to have been in government foster care for years.

Uribe is seeking to head off challenges to continued war funding in the U.S. Congress.

As well as fumigating coca crops, the approximately $600 million in annual funding, which began in 2000 under President Bill Clinton, has helped train special anti-terrorist forces, supplied helicopters to drop forces into Colombia's thick jungles and helped support intelligence gathering

patteeu
03-16-2008, 11:27 AM
Cracks in the rebels' leadership surfaced in December when FARC leaders promised to release a child captive who was later discovered to have been in government foster care for years.

Thanks for the updates, BigOlChiefsfan. Do you have any idea what this sentence from the latest article means? Does it mean that FARC was promising to release a child captive that they didn't really have in custody or something else?

BigOlChiefsfan
03-16-2008, 01:34 PM
That's the way I read it. They were bargaining to release a child that wasn't in their custody. If they got some concessions, well and good. If they're found out...they just say "hey, everybody knows we're lying terrorist kidnapping scum. What did you expect? If we play our cards right, Jimmy Carter might give us a canal".

Uribe's popularity in Columbia is at an all time high, 84% this week.

Call me old fashioned, but I wish the 'turncoat' Rojas had brought in Rios head instead of his hand and laptop. I can see Rios saying 'I'd give my right arm to get us out of this mess' and Rojas saying 'deal'.

BigOlChiefsfan
03-25-2008, 01:26 PM
Those captured laptops are one of those gifts that keeps on giving:

Mass. legislator FARCed (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120640555842961083.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)

patteeu
03-25-2008, 02:06 PM
Those captured laptops are one of those gifts that keeps on giving:

Mass. legislator FARCed (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120640555842961083.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)

Wow.

pikesome
03-26-2008, 05:51 AM
Those captured laptops are one of those gifts that keeps on giving:

Mass. legislator FARCed (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120640555842961083.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)

I stole this off someone's blog because it sums it up well.
I would like to believe the WSJ is just way off base, because the idea that a US congressman would want to help those cretins is sickening.

More generally, isn't it more than a little creepy that a congressman is running an independent foreign relations office?

BigOlChiefsfan
03-27-2008, 12:29 AM
No Mas! (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/471631.html)

pikesome
03-27-2008, 07:54 AM
No Mas! (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/471631.html)

Holy Shit!

Marxist guerillas with uranium.

I'm sure glad FARC are peace-loving freedom fighters.

tiptap
03-27-2008, 12:51 PM
So what is being stated is that Marxist guerillas were looking to buy Uranium. In this case low grade. Who was selling this? Why aren't we prosecuting those who were obtaining and selling the Uranium? I know, it has been rumored that Chavez was selling the Uranium to the guerillas. It makes for a good story but why would he be selling it when he is donating so much funds anyway to this group? Just give it away, especially if it is low grade. Uranium ore is going for 90 dollars a pound. If it is spent fuel it would have had to come from a reactor. That is technically traceable. If it is new refined fuel that requires separation techniques. And lots and lots of investment.

How likely is this to be a ploy with trying to implicate this group by offering incriminating materials in the first place? You want to castigate the Congressman go at it, please. This Uranium notion just doesn't fly. Dirty bombs are "scary" but the reality is that cleanup is easily directed by the radioactivity itself. Unlike dispersing organic Mercury or ethyl lead or hundreds of other materials which would be really hard to locate once dispersed by a bomb.

tiptap
03-27-2008, 01:05 PM
You all do know that McGovern implicated FARC as the cause for displacement of millions of refugees in Columbia. He has sought aid for those displaced families. It doesn't sound like he is championing FARC. He simple isn't opposed to a dialogue obviously and that isn't Bush's way. It certainly is convenient to get all this damning information before anyone looks to negotiate.

pikesome
03-27-2008, 01:47 PM
So what is being stated is that Marxist guerillas were looking to buy Uranium. In this case low grade. Who was selling this? Why aren't we prosecuting those who were obtaining and selling the Uranium? I know, it has been rumored that Chavez was selling the Uranium to the guerillas. It makes for a good story but why would he be selling it when he is donating so much funds anyway to this group? Just give it away, especially if it is low grade. Uranium ore is going for 90 dollars a pound. If it is spent fuel it would have had to come from a reactor. That is technically traceable. If it is new refined fuel that requires separation techniques. And lots and lots of investment.

:spock:

So what's your point? FARC was looking for uranium (if the laptop story is accurate) to sell. The Colombians found something uranium related. I'm not sure what FARC was thinking concerning this stuff but I'm pretty sure it was bad. Maybe they didn't know what they could and couldn't do with it. Maybe they were going to try and cheat someone ("so I took their plutonium and in turn, gave them a shiny bomb-casing full of used pinball machine parts!"), who knows. But a group like this, even if one believes in the justness of their cause, with uranium should make people concerned.

How likely is this to be a ploy with trying to implicate this group by offering incriminating materials in the first place? You want to castigate the Congressman go at it, please. This Uranium notion just doesn't fly. Dirty bombs are "scary" but the reality is that cleanup is easily directed by the radioactivity itself. Unlike dispersing organic Mercury or ethyl lead or hundreds of other materials which would be really hard to locate once dispersed by a bomb.

I don't know. I've wondered if this might be a well constructed put up job. The biggest argument against that ATM is the details being released don't seem to integrate well. If someone was making all this up they're jumping around like a Tarantino film. Also the reaction from Venezuela seems suspicious, they don't bitch every time things like this happened in the past. This time, however, they looked willing to go to war over it. It's like accusing the closeted jock of being gay.

BigOlChiefsfan
05-24-2008, 11:33 PM
Farc leader dead, per Columbian military

http://faustasblog.com/2008/05/colombias-big-news-tirofijo-farc-leader.html

Since he's been 'dead' before I'd like to see his head on a stick. Call me old fashioned.

alanm
05-25-2008, 12:45 AM
Farc leader dead, per Columbian military

http://faustasblog.com/2008/05/colombias-big-news-tirofijo-farc-leader.html

Since he's been 'dead' before I'd like to see his head on a stick. Call me old fashioned.
I suppose there were a few SF's along for the ride as observers only to do a BDA.;) Not to mention to do some identification.

pikesome
05-25-2008, 10:36 AM
I suppose there were a few SF's along for the ride as observers only to do a BDA.;) Not to mention to do some identification.

They aren't called the sharp end of the spear for nothing.