Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC have taken up the illegal mining of gold to finance their armed conflict with the state, President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.
According to the President, emails found on the computers of slain FARC commander “Mono Jojoy” prove that the guerrillas turned to illegal mining to make up for the losses of income generated with drug trafficking, which, according to Santos, received serious blows over the past few years.
The President stressed the importance that authorities and companies combat illegal mining more fiercely, “because this illegal mining is being, in large part, controlled by illegal armed groups and is an important and growing source of income.”
The FARC has been fighting the Colombian state since 1964. In the past it has used kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking to finance its armed resistance.