Bolivian police arrested two illegal Colombian immigrants near the capital, La Paz, and authorities alleged that the two men are deserters from the Colombian rebel group FARC, in the area to train local drug traffickers.
“As they are accustomed to the criminal underworld, Bolivian narco-traffickers request their services for training when they are in the [coca leaf] steeping pits or the [cocaine] laboratories,” explained Felipe Caceres, Boliva’s Vice-Minister of Defense.
According to Caceres, Bolivian drug traffickers enlisted the alleged FARC deserters to share security tactics, specifically the evasion of authorities and escaping detection. The Colombians in question did not have proper documentation, Caceres told Bolivian newspaper El Deber.
The police swept the region after a tip from legal coca leaf farmers. Various provinces in the Yungas region in the La Paz department allow coca farming on the basis of its traditional role in Bolivian culture. Bolivian authorities have been on guard for a FARC presence in the region since the beginning of April.
“The persons have been placed under the control of the Immigration Bureau, and it will be seen, in accordance with the standards of cooperation between Colombia and Boliva, if they will be deported or if they will undergo judicial process in this country,” Caceres said.
Since the beginning of this year Bolivian authorities have detained 31 Colombians implicated in drug trafficking.
- Desertores de las FARC estan en Boliva (El Deber)
- Denuncian que desertores de las Farc entrenan a narcotraficantes en Bolivia (El Espectador)
- Investigan posible presencia de Farc en Boliva (El Espectador)