Colombian police have identified 195 different ways drug traffickers transport cocaine, marijuana and heroin from the conflict-ridden department of Cauca to both international and domestic markets.
The study, a product of months of observation by the country’s anti-narcotics police in the coca-rich region in southwest Colombia, found that the most common smuggling method was by land, in both public and private vehicles.
Narcotraffickers often send out smaller shipments of cocaine as red herrings, the director of Colombia’s anti-narcotics unit, Luis Alberto, tells El Espectador newspaper. Soldiers seize the one-to-ten kilo shipments along police roadblocks, while the larger drug haul slips by along another, less-watched route.
Alberto also noted the transport of drugs by way of small private aircraft, pointing to the recent police discovery of two clandestine airstrips in the Cauca.
Finally, Alberto repeated the government’s claim that the FARC is the driving force behind the Colombian drug trade. “We are clear that this is the most lucrative business for the FARC terrorists,” he said. “[They] are the main producers of coca and marijuana crops, either directly or by financing illegal drug plantations.”