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 / 18 MAR 2013

Colombian authorities have confiscated nearly 4 tons of cocaine that they say was produced by the FARC, which would…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 NOV 2011

Viktor Bout was convicted of conspiracy to sell weapons to Colombian rebel group the FARC after a DEA sting…

COLOMBIA / 29 MAY 2017

A huge percentage of Colombia's soaring cocaine production has apparently passed through a single municipality, Tumaco, over the first few…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.