HomeNewsBriefNew Colombian Addition to 'Kingpin List' Paid Off FARC in Venezuela
BRIEF

New Colombian Addition to 'Kingpin List' Paid Off FARC in Venezuela

COLOMBIA / 26 FEB 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The latest addition to the United States' "kingpin list" is a low-profile but influential Colombian cocaine trafficker, whose nexus of alliances shines a light on the central role played by FARC guerrillas in trafficking through Venezuela.

Jose Evaristo Linares Castillo, alias "Don Evaristo," was arrested in the eastern department of Meta in May 2012 and is currently facing extradition to the United States.

According to US authorities, Don Evaristo worked in the cocaine trade for over 20 years and was a close ally of the region's principal traffickers, Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, who was arrested in 2012; and Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero, alias "Cuchillo," leader of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army (ERPAC), who was killed in 2010.

Don Evaristo's main method involved sending shipments of 500-1,000 kilos of cocaine by air from the Apure region in Venezuela to Honduras or Guatemala, where local criminal groups moved the loads on to his contacts in Mexican groups such as the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the Treasury and the US indictment against him.

To move his shipments out of Venezuela, Don Evaristo had to make large payments to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has a heavy presence in Apure, for use of airstrips in the region, the extradition request claims (see document below).

InSight Crime Analysis

Don Evaristo appears to have been part of the now mostly dismantled network of Eastern Plains traffickers that was dominated by kingpin Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, the FARC and ERPAC.

With El Loco and Don Evaristo in prison and ERPAC in tatters following the death of Cuchillo, a partial demobilization and constant infighting, the region is in flux, and the battle for control of its lucrative trafficking routes has sparked a new wave of violence.

The one constant has been the role of the FARC, which not only facilitates and taxes trafficking but also controls much of the coca cultivation and production of coca base in the region. The United States' claim that the FARC also controls airstrips on the Venezuelan side of the border is more evidence that the guerrillas not only have a strong presence and key role in trafficking activities on the Colombian side of the border but also on the Venezuelan side -- a politically sensitive issue for the governments of the two countries.

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

EX-FARC MAFIA / 22 APR 2021

Reports by the Venezuelan government of landmines in Apure state, demonstrate the recent expansion of a warfare tactic used by…

COLOMBIA / 25 OCT 2016

Colombia's Defense Minister has voiced serious concerns that the FARC guerrilla group may break apart if the government does not…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 31 MAY 2016

Venezuela has seen the highest number of deaths and injuries from grenades in Latin America over the past three years,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…