HomeNewsAnalysis'Colombian Special Forces Train Familia Recruits'
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'Colombian Special Forces Train Familia Recruits'

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 13 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Intelligence documents signal that Colombian ex-soldiers train members of the Familia Michoacan, reports La Razon.

Documents from the DEA and Mexican intelligence agency SSP indicate that former members of Colombian special forces train recruits for the Familia, reported La Razon Monday.

According to the newspaper, these intelligence reports reveal that members of the Familia undergo three to six months of required military training. Both Colombian and Mexican ex-soldiers teach recruits about torture methods, as well as handling short and long-range firearms.

Many of the Familia's rank-and-file members are believed to be former drug addicts, as the group is known to recruit in rehabilitation centers. Guatemalans and Salvadoreans are also found in the Familia's ranks, reports La Razon. Members allegedly receive salaries of up to 30,000 pesos (about $2,400) a month.

The top commander of the Familia, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo," was reportedly killed in a gunfight Thursday in Apatzingan. While this is a blow to the cartel, the Familia can still rely on some grassroots support in Michoacan and an appealing ideology.

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