Independent experts disagree with reported US intelligence about whether Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, is providing military training to Mexican drug cartels.
The Mexican weekly Proceso last week reported that the FARC had been training members of drug trafficking organizations New Generation Jalisco and Los Cuinis in the southern Colombian jungles.
The magazine said to base its claims on a US intelligence source who claimed some 50 members of the Mexican cartels had traveled to Colombia to receive military training.
However, several Mexican experts told Spanish news agency EFE that this is very unlikely, and that the FARC’s relationship with Mexican cartels is most likely restricted to cocaine and arms trafficking.
“It seems hardly viable that this training’s been given. It would be more feasible to explore the business relations there could be, for example, in drug trafficking,” Ricardo Ravelo, a defense studies professor at the Autonomous University, told EFE.
A second Autonomous University professor, Javier Oliva, said it is probable that the FARC and Mexican cartels are also doing business in the ” illegal arms market, but the issue of [military] training is somewhat complicated.”
Oliva previously told the Wall Street Journal that the FARC could be providing heavy weaponry to the Mexican drug lords.
Colombian authorities have long claimed direct links between Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel and the FARC, which exercises control over a significant chunk of coca cultivation in Colombia.