Colombian police arrested 18 members from the FARC, a Marxist guerrilla group, and the Rastrojos, one of the country’s most powerful crime syndicates, during raids in the departments of Nariño, Cundinamarca, Valle and Antioquia.
The arrests dismantled a network which manufactured and marketed heroin and cocaine, sending the drugs to Central America and the United States.
The first phase of the operation began in October 2010, which resulted in the capture of 27 people and the confiscation of 50 kg of heroin and 1,000 kg of cocaine.
Among the captured members of the network was drug dealer Juan Carlos Cadena, alias “Manuel Cadena,” who brokered the deal that saw weapons and ammunition going to the FARC’s 29th Front in exchange for heroin from the Rastrojos. He also allegedly formed an alliance with the Rastrojos to ensure his protection and to guarantee payments for the drugs being trafficked out of the country.
The alleged members of this drug network will be prosecuted for trafficking, possession, and the manufacturing of drugs and weapons.
The financially-motivated alliance between the FARC and the Rastrojos has had a tenuous history. While there’s evidence that the groups work together in certain parts of the country, fighting broke out in 2011 between the two drug trafficking organizations in the southwestern department of Cauca.