The now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC acquired hundreds of M16 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar grenades in Miami in 2004 and 2005, while officially in the process of demobilizing, Colombian radio station Caracol reported Saturday.
The radio station based its report on documents of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in which the U.S. counter-narcotics agency reported that within one year, the AUC acquired 200 M16 rifles, 100 fragmentation grenades, 150 rocket-propelled grenades, 50,000 and 50,000 .22 cartridges from Miami.
According to Caracol, the report revealed that a man referred to as “Nacho” provided the arms in exchange for cocaine and money from what the U.S. government had determined a terrorist organization in 2002.
“Evidence in this case indicates that between April 2004 and June 29, 2005 he arranged with others to trade large quantities of cocaine and large sums of money for rifles, grenades and ammunition,” the radio station quotes the report in Spanish. “They planned to send cocaine, supplied by the AUC, from Colombia to Miami, FL, in exchange of arms and ammunition to be delivered to the AUC.”
The arms-for-drugs transactions took place in several places in the south of California.
The AUC officially agreed to demobilize on July 15, 2003. Since then, most of the paramilitaries’ blocks demobilized one by one. The last to officially demobilize was the Elmer Cardenas Block of Fredy Rendon, alias “El Aleman,” on August 16, 2006.
Members of that last group then formed neo-paramilitary group “Los Urabeños” which fell under the command of Daniel Rendon, alias “Don Mario,” the brother of “El Aleman.”
The Urabeños are currently one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Colombia and in control of the drug routes in what used to be the heartland of the AUC.