HomeNewsBriefColombia Producing Its Own Drones
BRIEF

Colombia Producing Its Own Drones

COLOMBIA / 26 OCT 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Colombia announced that it has begun building its own drones for military use, a sign of the changing dynamics of the country's conflict and the increasing use of this technology to counter organized crime throughout the region.

On October 24, Janeth Giha, Colombia’s vice minister of defence, told press that the government is in the process of building its own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or "drone," reported El Tiempo. The project has been in the works for the past year and a half.

The UAV will be used for military operations as well as having civilian functions such as the monitoring of oil pipelines, according to El Pais. It is unclear whether it would also engage in combat operations.                

“Several of our engineers have gone to countries such as Spain to train and are working on this project. The most important thing is creating a prototype that will serve our needs, not only militarily, but also for monitoring our energy infrastructure,” Giha declared.

Colombia is also planning to install a military radar in the central province of Meta by 2015. If approval is given for the project the radar will be developed with the help of South Korea.   

InSight Crime Analysis

According to a US State Department cable released last year by WikiLeaks, Colombia began using US-supplied drones in 2006 to conduct counter-insurgency and anti-narcotics operations. Earlier this year, a Colombian Defense Ministry official told Israel and the US that the country urgently needed to acquire more drones thanks to a change in the dynamics of the internal conflict.

Though the monitoring of energy infrastructure has been classed as a "civilian" purpose, it also involves elements of the conflict since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) often carry out attacks on oil pipelines and energy stations throughout the country.

The announcement that Colombia is already building its own UAV is representative of the country’s ambition in becoming a key player in regional security. Colombia has helped train security forces in Guatemala, Mexico and Haiti, along with providing assistance in Honduras’ efforts to clean up its police. In addition, the government run weapons manufacturer Indumil announced a 130 percent increase in arms exports for 2011. If Colombia is able to effectively develop its drone building capacity, it could potentially also rise to become an exporter of this increasingly utilized technology in the fight against organized crime.

The US deployed drones in the Caribbean this year to monitor drug traffickers and has also sent them to Mexico to help in the fight against drug cartels. UAVs are also being distributed by Brazil, with the South American country having provided drones to neighboring Bolivia to gather information on coca plantations and drug trafficking routes.

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 / 24 JUN 2015

The United States has unsealed indictments against over a dozen alleged leaders of the Urabeños, a clear sign the US…

COLOMBIA / 17 MAY 2019

Juan Guaidó tried to bluff Nicólas Maduro at the Venezuelan political poker table, pretending he had the enough of the…

COLOMBIA / 2 AUG 2018

A recent massacre that left eight people dead near the Colombia-Venezuela border shows how much the conflict has intensified between…

About InSight Crime

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…