The FARC is allied with criminal groups in joint drug-trafficking operations, Colombian police said Tuesday.
Based on intercepted conversations between the commanders of two FARC fronts, the police now believe the 57th, 58th and 18th Fronts share drug trafficking routes with the Urabeños. The gang was formerly headed by Daniel Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” who is currently in prison.
The drug-trafficking corridors stretch from the Apartado, Turbo, Neclocli, San Juan de Uraba and Arboletes municipalities in the north-west of the Antioquia department towards the Colombia-Panama border, police intelligence says.
The FARC’s 43rd Front in the Eastern Bloc, headed by “Jhon 40,” is also believed to have allied with drug-trafficking gangs operating in Colombia’s eastern plains. There is thougth to be an alliance between the FARC and the neo-paramilitary group ERPAC, headed by Pedro Oliviera Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” and the trafficker Daniel Barrera, alias “El Loco.”
There is also some evidence of an alliance between several fronts in the FARC’s Southern Bloc and the criminal gang “Los Rastrojos,” one of the most powerful and prominent drug-trafficking groups currently operating in Colombia. A video obtained by Colombian media showed the commander of the Southern Bloc, alias “Fabian Ramirez,” ordering the now-deceased leader of the 48th Front to build canoes to transport cocaine upriver towards the Pacific.
The commander of the FARC’s 36th Front has also been recorded having conversations about “joint projects” with the Rastrojos.
The 57th Front, active in the Pacific department of Choco, also reportedly has an alliance with the criminal gang “Los Paisas,” allowing them to share drug-trafficking routes.
Colombian intelligence have previously said that at least eight FARC units are now solely dedicated to drug-trafficking, not with confronting security forces or planning military operations.