The head of the Colombian police’s anti-narcotics division, General Cesar Pinzon, said that the FARC are now “the big cartel” in the country, working with Mexican traffickers to export drugs.
In an interview with El Tiempo, published Monday, Pinzon said that ties between Mexican drug traffickers operating in Colombia and the FARC “are very strong and old” because the guerrilla group have become “the big cartel that controls the [cocaine] laboratories in the jungle and handles the drug exit routes out of Colombia.”
Pinzon said that if drug lords such as Pedro Olivero Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” have a disruption in their cocaine supplies “they turn to the FARC to sell it to them, or they lend tons of drugs. They work between themselves to complete the shipments to Mexico.”
The general warned that the Mexican cartels are slowly taking control over the drug trafficking industry in Colombia. He said that arrests of drug traffickers over the last few months, such as that of Mexican narco Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias “La Barbie,” have confirmed suspicions of links between Mexican traffickers and Colombian organized crime.
“If one looks at the capos that have fallen in the last four years in Colombia, all of them have had links to Mexico and with different cartels in that country. There are Mexican drug bosses that have come here, not the big capos, but definitely people who are at important levels,” Pinzon said.
According to Pinzon, pressure on drug trafficking networks in Colombia has resulted in intensified collaboration between Mexican and Colombia traffickers.
“We know that they share information and methods between themselves in order to carry out their criminal acts, including attacks,” Pinzon said.
La Barbie claimed to have links to Colombian criminals when he was arrested several weeks ago. Mexican authorities released a tape on which La Barbie says “I have investments in Colombia in my field of work,” which he then admits is “drugs.”
Following the capo’s arrest, Colombian authorities arrested eleven people accused of shipping drugs from the FARC to La Barbie’s Beltran Leyva cartel. Among those detained was Julio Cesar Piña Soberanis, alias “Julio,” a Mexican believed to be La Barbie’s representative in Colombia.