HomeNewsBriefMulti-Ton 'FARC' Cocaine Seized in Southwest Colombia
BRIEF

Multi-Ton 'FARC' Cocaine Seized in Southwest Colombia

COLOMBIA / 18 MAR 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

Colombian authorities have confiscated nearly 4 tons of cocaine that they say was produced by the FARC, which would be a major financial blow to the guerrillas, though their representatives denied any connection to the seized drugs.

Colonel Jorge Mora, who heads the army's anti-trafficking unit, said the cocaine laboratory in the southwest Cauca province was the rebels' biggest cocaine storage center, and served to finance six different Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fronts, reported El Pais.

Following three weeks of intelligence work, 150 troops flew to the jungle-covered zone in helicopters and descended by ropes, reported El Tiempo. Around eight suspected guerrillas fired on them before fleeing, according to the newspaper.

The seized cocaine packages would be worth around $22 million on the Colombian market and up to $90 million when taken abroad. Mora said the drugs would have been exchanged with Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel for arms, weapons and explosives, reported newspaper El Heraldo, and that they had Sinaloa markings printed on them.

According to El Pais, an army statement said the packages had eight different marks on them which identified different FARC fronts. El Tiempo said the marks suggested the packages were destined for sale to eight different cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel.

Ricardo Gonzalez, alias "Rodrigo Granda," a FARC spokesman in peace talks with the Colombian government in Cuba, dismissed the allegations the laboratory belonged to the guerrillas, reported El Tiempo. "This is laughable, man, we are a very serious, responsible, political-military organization," he said. "You're not talking to any drug traffickers here."

InSight Crime Analysis

The 4 tons of cocaine is a massive seizure and, if the drugs did belong to the FARC, it would represent a major blow to the guerrillas' finances. Last year, the biggest single haul in Colombia was 1.5 tons.

Colombian Army assertions attributing criminal activities to the FARC must always be treated with caution, but the guerrillas are known to operate cocaine mega-laboratories like this, and Cauca is one of their major centers for drug production and trafficking. Rodrigo Granda's claim that the FARC are not involved in drug trafficking is simply false.

There have been reports of links between the FARC and Mexican cartels for a number of years, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel. Mexican groups are increasingly building links with the Colombian groups in order to buy coca paste at the source, and get a bigger share of profits by getting involved lower down in the distribution chain.

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 / 14 NOV 2019

Three years ago, a massive police operation swept through the Bronx, a small neighborhood at the center of much of the…

COLOMBIA / 6 JAN 2012

Two soldiers and three kidnappers died when the military attempted to rescue a businessman taken hostage in southwest Colombia.

COLOMBIA / 4 NOV 2016

Aside from near constant talk of building "a wall" along the Mexican border and sporadic mention of Mexico's heroin distribution…

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.