Closing in on FARC Commander

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Colombia’s defense minister stated that the rebel supreme leader will fall soon, after his security chief was killed by the army. The death of Arquimides Muñoz, alias ‘Jeronimo’ (photo), will certainly leave exposed Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias ‘Alfonso Cano,’ the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC). The question is whether the FARC will begin to fragment should Cano be killed, becoming little more than a series of very powerful drug cartels with no ideology.

  • La Republica reported that 18 Peruvian antinarcotics police are under investigation for working with drug traffickers in the strategic Valley of the Apurimac and Ene River (known by its Spanish acronym VRAE). The VRAE is not only important as a centre of coca production, which is on the rise in Peru, but as a stronghold of the rebel Shining Path Movement, which appears to be growing again, flush with funds from drug trafficking.
  • Venezuela has captured six suspected of trafficking drugs to the U.S., Colombia, and Holland, reported the Associated Press. Among those extradited is Gloria Rojas Valencia, accused of being a member of the Mexican Zetas cartel, suggesting that the Mexicans are reaching into Venezuela, a crucial transit nation for Colombian cocaine heading towards Europe. While Venezuela has been criticized by the U.S. for not collaborating in the war on drugs, it has made a series of significant arrests, particularly of Colombian traffickers, and has not hesitated to extradite suspects.
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