Colombia: FARC linked to Peruvian guerrillas

A Colombian intelligence report alleges that the FARC are collaborating with Peruvian insurgent group Shining Path, in an effort to revitalize the failing Maoist organisation.

The FARC have been in contact with the Shining Path, who have practically disappeared since the capture of their leader in 1992, since before the 2008 death of FARC leader “Raul Reyes,” El Tiempo reported Monday, citing an intelligence report they were allowed to access.

Emails found on Reyes’ hard drive reveal the FARC’s intentions to strengthen the training, political work, and armed fight of the Peruvian guerilla group, El Tiempo claims.

The FARC have allegedly trained up to 30 Peruvian guerillas.

Peruvian Defense Minister Rafael Rey, who met recently with his Colombian counterpart in Bogota, said that Colombian and Peruvian intelligence and armed forces are working together in the fight against the guerilla groups.

These statements follow a U.S. Defense Department official’s comment on Thursday that the FARC are a threat to the region, especially “for Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru.”

El Tiempo hypothesizes that the FARC may be instructing the Shining Path on how to use the cocaine trade to sustain their insurgency.

Colombian intelligence shows that the FARC are increasingly dependent on drug trafficking for funds.

A U.N. study argues that Peru may overtake Colombia as the world’s largest cocaine producer, citing the Peruvian government’s failure to “take more aggressive methods to destroy and control coca-growing.”

Fears that the Shining Path could take the route of the FARC, and become more like a drug cartel, have been raised before by Peruvian authorities.

The Peruvian government announced in April 2009 that it will build six “anti-terrorist” bases to add to those that already exist in Putumayo on the border with Colombia.

The Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla organization that launched its internal fight against the government of Peru in 1980.

It is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, and Canada.

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