Colombia‘s President Juan Manuel Santos told Television Española that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Revolucionarias Armadas de Colombia – FARC) no longer have camps in Venezuela, Semana reports. The president praised the attitude of the neighboring country, which he said had removed the FARC from its territory. Former President Alvaro Uribe publicly disagreed with his successor, pointing out via Twitter that the locations of various FARC and ELN commanders, thought to be hiding in Venezuela, are still unknown. Santos, however, highlighted the fact that the Chavez government had handed over two suspected guerrillas, accused of murdering three members of the Colombian Navy, and said that relations with Venezuela were improving.

  • U.S. authorities have said that the Mexican mafia are present in 230 U.S. cities, reports Milenio. Roberta Jacobson, deputy assistant secretary of state for Mexico and Canada, said in a forum in Washington that cartels are not just present along the southern border of the U.S., but in the interior of the country. This follows reports Monday of the U.S. Justice Department’s warning that Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are moving their operations into U.S. border cities. In 2012 funding for the U.S.-funded Merida Initiative is scheduled to fall by $250 million from its 2010 level.
  • La Hora reports on the release of two WikiLeaks cables which discuss Venezuela’s financing of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s electoral campaign. One cable states that Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño handled campaign money for the campaign from both Venezuela and rebel group the FARC. A third cable, dated 2008, says that Spain and Colombia had proposed to install a radar on Ecuador’s border with its northern neighbor, in order to prevent Quito from making the excuse that it was not able to control the border against guerrilla incursions.
  • In other news, half of Interpol‘s 20 most wanted fugitives are from Latin America. Of these ten, three are wanted on charges of drug trafficking and organized crime. One of the men is from Paraguay, one from Peru and one from Colombia, Infobae reports. However none of them coincide with the U.S. list of most wanted nor figure among the region’s most profilic cocaine smugglers.

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