The Death of a Worm

The worm is dead. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are all reporting Friday morning that the second-in-command of the Colombian rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), was killed in airstrikes on "his jungle bunker." His nom de guerre, Mono Jojoy, comes from a type of worm guerrillas survive on in the jungle, according to the Times. The Journal provides other fun tidbits, like the fact that Mono Jojoy (his real name was Victor Suárez) followed his mother into the lifestyle. The operation that killed him was dubbed, "Operation Welcome" by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly.

Santos describes his strategy for dealing with the FARC rebels in an interview on the Post's op-ed page: "we clean up, then we come in with the presence of the state [teachers, doctors, etc] . . . to get to the point where" the population would reject the insurgents if they try to come back. In the interview, Santos also explains that he and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez have come to an understand to "respect our differences" but work together, and he says it's paying off--Chávez apparently turned over a "very important drug trafficker" this week. The interview ends with a plea from the Colombian president for Congress to pass the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, and a warning on drugs: "As long as you have yuppies here snorting coke in New York, you have coca production in Colombia."