HomeNewsBriefCar Bomb a Hint that Colombia's Guerrilla Tactics Spreading to Ecuador
BRIEF

Car Bomb a Hint that Colombia's Guerrilla Tactics Spreading to Ecuador

COLOMBIA / 30 JAN 2018 BY PARKER ASMANN* EN

Authorities are blaming FARC dissidents for a car bomb near the Colombia-Ecuador border, a sign that former rebels may be looking to expand their presence in this porous border region.

The bomb, which exploded January 27 in front of a police station in the strategic port town of San Lorenzo in Ecuador’s coastal Esmeraldas province, injured 28, El Universo reported.

Ecuador officials said the attack was carried out by dissidents from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), El Universo reported January 29.

Shortly after, Colombia Attorney General Néstor Martínez also linked the car bombing to a “FARC dissident of Ecuadorean origin, alias 'Guacho,'" El Universo reported separately.

SEE ALSO: FARC News and Profile

Officials in Ecuador declared a state of emergency in San Lorenzo after the explosion, and have since reinforced security along the country’s northern border with Colombia, according to two Defense Ministry press releases.

The FARC have long had a presence in Ecuador, and the guerrillas’ 48th Front used northern Ecuador as a key logistical center for the rebels’ Southern Bloc in the past.

InSight Crime Analysis

The authorities' conclusion seems quick but correct: a car bomb, aimed at a police station is the rebels', or in this case, former rebels' modus operandi.

Ecuador has long served as a transshipment nation for cocaine trafficking given its geographic location between Colombia and Peru, two of the world’s main coca-producing countries. But recent multi-ton cocaine seizures and the arrest of Washington Prado Álava, alias “Gerard” or “Gerald,” -- often referred to as Ecuador’s “Pablo Escobar” -- suggest that the country’s role in the drug trade is evolving.

With Colombia’s criminal world fragmented and criminal economies now up for grabs following the FARC’s demobilization, the recent violence along the Colombia-Ecuador border suggests that FARC dissidents are trying to take hold of this strategic border region in an effort to solidify their control over the cross-border drug trade.

SEE ALSO: Ecuador News and Profile

Following the demobilization of the FARC in 2017, dissident members of the guerrilla group started to form criminal groups in Ecuador to continue with illegal activities previously controlled by the rebel group, primarily drug trafficking. The dismantling of a drug lab along the Colombia-Ecuador border in June 2017 provided further evidence that dissident rebels were maintaining drug trafficking activities in the border region.

Expect violence like this to continue. Guacho, the FARC dissident allegedly behind the car bomb, has been linked to other bloody confrontations in areas strategic to the cocaine trade in the past.

*This article was written with assistance from Sergio Saffon.

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 / 15 JUL 2021

A convicted cocaine trafficker is among the suspects that authorities in Haiti are pursuing in connection to the middle-of-the-night murder…

BOLIVIA / 14 MAY 2021

The extradition of a prominent Bolivian drug trafficker to Brazil has shed rare light on how family clans in the…

COLOMBIA / 3 OCT 2022

Colombian rebels had long been welcome in Venezuela but now, they have arrived in force, bringing conflict with them.

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…