Nor am I surprised that Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand Thursday. Bout is reputed to have sold and smuggled arms in a lot of hot spots around the world, sometimes on contract to U.S. government agencies. His reputed connections to U.S. agencies has apparently been a major reason why he has avoided capture as long as he has. His capture in Thailand was apparently based on a U.S. warrant through the DEA.
It is the connection between the capture of Bout and the raid into Ecuador that killed FARC deputy commander Luis Edgar Devia Silva (known as "Paul Reyes") that surprises me. This connection is suggested by the involvement of the DEA in Bout's capture as well as the claims that the warrant is for selling arms to the FARC.
The cross-order raid into Ecuador to kill Reyes has upset both the President of Ecuador and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but It appears that both Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa were allowing the FARC to operate from sanctuary behind the Ecuadoran border
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe leveled allegations of his own, saying he would bring charges of state-sponsored terrorism against leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the International Criminal Court, citing evidence from the dead rebel's laptop computer that Chavez gave $300 million and other resources to the FARC.The truth of Uribe's charges has yet to be confirmed. It is known that Chavez wants the FARC to be considered a legitimate political movement within Colombia rather than merely as a terrorist organization. Uribe's allegations fit that context, but that doesn't make them true.
If the allegations of Chavez's support to FARC prove out, then his movement of troops to the border of Colombia to be little more than bombast to cover the fact that he has been caught attempting to destabilize Colombia. The arrest of Victor Bout in Bangkok under a DEA warrant suggests that there is a lot we don't know, and that we need to know.
So, we wait for the next shoe to drop. It shouldn't be too long.