According to a new cable released by WikiLeaks via El Espectador, the government of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe planned to leak compromising material that linked both Venezuelan President Chavez and Ecuadorean President Correa to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC). The cable says that then-defense minister and current President Juan Manuel Santos told then-U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield in 2008 that the government planned to selectively release the information to various international media outlets. The material allegedly came from hard drives that belonged to Luis Edgar Devia, alias ‘Raul Reyes,’ the FARC’s second-in-command. The hard drives were seized after Raul Reyes was killed during a raid in early 2008 by the Colombian security forces on Ecuadorean soil. This incident led to a break in relations between the countries which lasted almost two years.
- The latest report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), an initiative set up by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) upon the request of the United Nations (UN), states that over 27 million people have become internal refugees worldwide in 2010. Colombia shares first place with Sudan, with some 3.6–5.2 million internally displaced people, due to the complexity of its internal conflict and the issues with organized crime. Mexico, while having relatively low figures compared to the South American country, still registers a bigger number than Afghanistan for 2010.
- Mexico’s Zetas cartel has increased its presence in Central America, according to Excelsior. The criminal group is reportedly moving its drug trafficking operations into the region in the face of harassment in Mexico, both from the legal security forces (U.S. and Mexican authorities) and by the illegal armies of the rival Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels. The Zetas’ modus operandi involves taking coca base shipments from Colombia to Honduras and Central America, and processing it there, as exemplified by the Honduras authorities’ dismantling of a coca base processing laboratory last week.