Testimony by a former member of Colombian guerrilla group the FARC reveals that for at least the last two decades the organization has developed “an extensive network” for smuggling drugs overland into Brazil, reported El Espectador on Monday.
The ex-FARC commander, who left the organization six months ago after fifteen years of service, told Brazilian publication O Estado de Sao Paulo that during his time in the guerrilla group he took part in several drug-smuggling operations, some worth over $2.6 million.
The former guerrilla, known as “Carlos” to protect his identity, said that the FARC has established a number of routes for transporting drugs into Brazil, and has “dozens of subordinates” working throughout the country.
After being smuggled over the border, the drugs are taken to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where they are exchanged for chemicals needed for the production of cocaine or firearms, explained “Carlos,” who belongs to a government program for demobilized guerrillas.
In May, Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva announced that the FARC had “networks” across the border, including use of “the free [Amazon] port city of Manaus,” and added that Brazil “are starting a difficult process, by sharing intelligence with us” to determine the exact nature of FARC presence in Brazil.
Silva stressed the importance of the two governments working together in the fight against drug trafficking and guerrilla groups.