HomeNewsAnalysisOfficials Discover FARC Arms Cache in Western Colombia
ANALYSIS

Officials Discover FARC Arms Cache in Western Colombia

COLOMBIA / 16 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Police in the western coastal city of Buenaventura on Wednesday discovered a sizeable arms and munitions cache used by the Western Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). 

In total, authorities found more than 7,000 AK-47 cartridges, a mortar and shell, 50 fragmentation grenades and a rocket launcher. Police believe that a portion of the cache was meant to be shared with the Rastrojos crime organization.

According to the Colombian daily El Tiempo, these materials were found in the area near the El Pinal bridge, at the eastern entrance to the city. In a statement to the press, Rear Admiral Wills Hernando Velez, commander of the Pacific Naval Force, said officials had been monitoring the cache for some time. "The material was hidden in this place for the past ten days, as little by little it had been added to," he said. "Intelligence allowed [our] units to reach the site and make the seizure of the arsenal."

Admiral Hernando also cited the level of sophistication of the discovered arms as particularly worrisome to authorities: "This array has great destructive power. The rocket is a high-tech weapon that can be used against aircraft."

Buenaventura is a major shipping point for drug trafficking organizations on their way to the Unites States, and officials believe that the FARC meant to distribute some of the guns to the Rastrojos crime syndicate, a major player in cocaine distribution and an ally with the FARC in this business. The FARC also works with the Juarez and Tijuana Cartels in Mexico, while the Rastrojos have been linked to the Sinaloa Cartel.

The revelation comes just a week after officials uncovered a seperate bomb plot in the capital city of Bogotá, in which officials discovered nearly 20 kilos of explosives and a manuscript instructing attackers to attack police stations throughout the city. Although authorities did not officially link the latter plot to the FARC at the time, it was widely suspected be the work of the guerrilla group, which has come under an increasing amount of military pressure in recent months and is shifting towards high-impact, low-risk terrorist type activities such as bombings.

In September, the Colombian military killed the FARC's top military commander Jorge Briceño Suarez, alias "Mono Jojoy," in a much-publicized operation. In the context of the increased attacks, both the bomb plot and cache discovery could be part of a recent counter offensive by the FARC meant to take pressure off its embattled southeastern front where its top commander, Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias "Alfonso Cano," operates.

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.

Tags

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 / 21 DEC 2021

The Segunda Marquetalia has seen its leadership decimated under bizarre circumstances, in the only place where the powerful Colombian dissident…

AUC / 13 APR 2022

After running for hours, Carolina, 21, arrived in the city of Santa Marta with her family in 2000. Their feet…

ARGENTINA / 23 DEC 2021

A spree of illegal fishing occurred across Latin America this past year, much of it driven by competition for diminishing…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…