HomeNewsAnalysisE-mails: FARC Planned to Buy Illicit Arms from Neighbors
ANALYSIS

E-mails: FARC Planned to Buy Illicit Arms from Neighbors

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 19 JAN 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

On Saturday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos released a series of intercepted emails between leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in which they communicated plans to purchase black market weapons from other countries in the region.

According to El Colombiano, the email was sent from the computer of guerrilla leader Víctor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias "Mono Jojoy," which was captured after his death last September in a military campaign.

Suarez allegedly wrote about his organization’s efforts to purchase weapons on the country’s border with Ecuador, and mentioned the borders with Venezuela and Brazil as sources of ammunition.

Citing the emails in a speech on economic development, Santos called them "an indicator of how important it is to have good relations with one’s neighbors," going on to praise the neighboring governments for recent border security efforts.

The praise comes just five months before Venezuela is set to open a Kalashnikov rifle factory with the assistance of Russian arms company Rosoboronexport. According to the Colombian daily El Espectador, production will start in May 2011, and the factory will produce between 20,000 and 30,000 rifles per year.

Because the rifle’s relatively low cost, durability and ease of use make it a weapon of choice for insurgencies and criminal gangs across the globe, the deal has many analysts worried that some of the weapons could fuel the conflict in Colombia. According to a 2003 study published by the RAND Corporation, "Although there is no definitive evidence at this point that links the administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to a deliberate policy of arming Colombia’s guerrillas, it is possible that sympathetic individual members of the Venezuelan military have supplied both weapons and ammunition [to the guerrillas]."

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 3 OCT 2022

While now comfortably established in two countries, the ELN have a chance to return to the negotiating table, according to…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 28 JUN 2022

In its latest bid to curb the flow of illegal firearms and ensuing violence, Jamaica has turned to the United…

COLOMBIA / 19 FEB 2021

A special tribunal has stated the number of victims connected to Colombia’s false positives scandal is almost three times higher…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…