Colombia’s largest rebel group the FARC are allegedly selling drug trafficking franchises to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel while they prepare a possible peace accord with the Colombian government, reported an anonymous source to El Tiempo Wednesday.
The source said several mid-level FARC commanders had sold their interests in the drug trade to the Mexicans, threatening to extend the reach of the Sinaloa Cartel on Colombian territory. The drug cartel, headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has previously relied on setting up cocaine trafficking routes from Colombia to North America, but has reportedly aligned with Colombian drug traffickers “Los Rastrojos” to increase their involvement in all steps of the production process.
According to the Latin American organized crime watchdog InSight Crime, the selling of the FARC’s drug trafficking operations to the Sinaloa Cartel suggests that the rebels might feel that peace with the Colombian government can actually be attained. However, it raises concerns that the foreign drug traffickers, aligned with Los Rastrojos, could clash violently with the group’s enemies, “Los Urabeños.”
According to El Tiempo, the cartel already operates cocaine laboratories in the southwestern Nariño department and is said to have a growing presence in the northwestern Antioquia and Cordoba departments.
In February, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos asked for an investigation into possible Sinaloa Cartel activities in Nariño and the Pacific port city of Buenaventura, an important exit point for illegal drugs.
- Cartel de Sinaloa ya esta en cinco zonas del pais (El Tiempo)
- ‘FARC selling off drug franchises to Sinaloa Cartel’ (Insightcrime.org)