FARC Having Troubles

And Hugo Chavez Is Upset

Domestic politics has been so interesting of late that I’ve been using it as a sleep aid. [When I talk about Senators Clinton, Obama and/or McCain, the AstroWife falls asleep. Is that so wrong???] But there’s a whole world of politics happening out there! Today’s destination is South America, where one of the top commanders of a Colombian terrorist organization was just captured in Ecuador because of information found on a few laptop computers with a little help from the U.S. military. Venezuelan President Chavez doesn’t seen to like that.

All together now… Awwwwwww.

After the devastating strikes on their leadership’s camp just over the border in Ecuador, the FARC has been going through some tough time. Intel gained from their laptops has led investigators around Latin America to caches of money, arms, and supporters.

The information captured there, which was verified by Interpol the other day, continues to pay off on the world stage. It details the FARC’s relations with Hugo Chavez, it led to the arrest of arms dealer Viktor Bout, and it even revealed the FARC’s preference for an Obama victory in the upcoming U.S. election.

FARC is the Colombian Maoist-guerrilla insergency that is currently battling that country from neighboring Ecuador.

FARC and ELN were both founded in the 1960s, after Colombia’s two main political parties ended more than a decade of political violence and agreed to share power. In 1963, students, Catholic radicals, and left-wing intellectuals hoping to emulate Fidel Castro’s communist revolution in Cuba founded ELN. FARC formed in 1965, bringing together communist militants and peasant self-defence groups.

Should you care? They’ve been known to commit a few – um – crimes.

Experts estimate that FARC takes in $200 million to $300 million annually – at least half of its income – from the illegal drug trade. The FARC also profits from kidnappings, extortion schemes, and an unofficial “tax” it levies in the countryside for “protection” and social services. About sixty-five of the FARC’s 110 operational units are involved in some aspect of the drug trade, according to a 2005 International Crisis Group report, but evidence from that period indicates they primarily managed local production. The U.S. government alleges the FARC’s role in the drug trade is more significant. According to a 2006 U.S. Department of Justice indictment, the FARC supplies more than 50 percent of the world’s cocaine.

Real nice guys.

H/T to my neighbor, Michelle Malkin.

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