Colombia’s fight against the FARC increasingly focuses on cutting off the rebels’ funding from narco-trafficking, as police collect new information on the organisation’s drug trading structure.
Colombian police, in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), are now focusing their efforts on the FARC’s seven drug kingpins, El Tiempo reported Monday.
Evidence found on the seized computers of FARC leaders “Raul Reyes” and “Edgar Tovar” has helped authorities to map out the entire structure of the FARC’s narco-trafficking dealings.
El Tiempo claims that a police report on the FARC’s structure includes over 60 emails that Tovar exchanged with the FARC’s leadership and the heads of various fronts, containing information about drug shipments and alliances with gang leaders and mafia groups across the country.
The report traces the routes and strategies for the FARC to move drugs across the country, “The 48th Front receives the drugs in Putumayo, the 30th Front protects its movement from Cauca until Cañon de Garrapatas (Choco), and the 57th Front takes the drugs towards Uraba, thanks to a non-agression agreement that they made with neo-paramilitary group “Los Paisas,” a police intelligence official told El Tiempo.
The El Tiempo article stipulates that due to the increased reliance on drug money by the FARC, the main challenge for authorities now will be to cut off its life-blood; the ability to control the drug trade.
The evidence pulled from Tovar’s computer “is clearly the main proof that the FARC is a cartel,” a DEA source told El Tiempo.
Authorities indicate that they will be going after the FARC’s money-laundering operations which have been outsourced to neighboring countries.
Also revealed recently is information showing that the FARC have moved into the marijuana business as well. The marijuana operation is headed by FARC leader “Sargento Pascuas,” who is the only living founder of the FARC, and head of its 6th Front in Cauca.
Cauca has been the victim of heavy fighting recently between the FARC and authorities. Two weeks ago, anti-narcotics police captured a record-setting 20-ton shipment of marijuana in the Cauca municipality of El Palo.
The El Tiempo report echoes the conclusions of a Colombian police intelligence report, seen by Radio Caracol in February, which claims that at least eight units of the FARC are now engaged solely in the production and trafficking of cocaine, and are not involved in the fight against the government or in terrorist acts.