Colombian Army and FARC Rebels Battle Near Venezuelan Border

Yesterday, the Colombian army and FARC rebels started battling in a rural area by the Venezuelan border. According to officials, eleven guerrillas were killed when soldiers bombed the rebel camps in an attempt to find German Briceño Suarez, brother of FARC Military Chief Jorge Briceño Suarez. The bombings started Wednesday morning and once soldiers entered the area, they seized weapons, supplies and intelligence documents.

In a military ceremony that took place in Bogota yesterday, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said, “We’ve identified the main areas where the guerrillas still have credible military capacity, in order to carry out a massive and sustained military campaign in those zones, gathering resources and men from different parts of the country and concentrating them there.”

He also explained that their “strategic leap” to put an end to the FARC is a six-point plan that uses both military and social action.

Last year, the FARC experienced huge blows when both its founder/leader Manuel Marulanda and its second-in-command Raul Reyes both died. And last summer, the Colombian army rescued several hostages including Ingrid Betancourt who had been held captive for six years.

FARC members have recently been retreating to Venezuela and Ecuador as they lose territory inside Colombia.