Three accused members of the Colombian rebel group FARC were extradited
from Panama on Friday and charged in Manhattan federal court with
conspiring to support a terrorist organization.
Alexis Freddy Mosquera-Renteria, Yarlei Banol-Ramos and Jorge Abel
Ibarguen-Palacio, all Colombian nationals, were arrested off the coast
of Panama in February following a shootout with the Panamanian maritime
“This prosecution is another important step in our efforts against
the FARC, a violent narco-terrorist organization whose goal is to
destabilize the democratically elected governments of Colombia and
other Latin American countries,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin.
According to U.S. and Colombian authorities, the FARC, or
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, funds its operations through
cocaine trafficking and extortion. U.S. officials say it has evolved
into the world’s biggest supplier of cocaine.
The men are members of the 57th Front, a FARC unit believed to be
involved in cocaine trafficking and that funds its activities in part
by kidnapping foreign tourists and demanding ransom for their release,
A search of their boat recovered explosives and detonators,
automatic rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, communication
equipment and camouflage FARC uniforms with armbands, prosecutors said.
The men will next appear in court on May 18.