HomeNewsBriefFARC Turn to War of Militias
BRIEF

FARC Turn to War of Militias

COLOMBIA / 8 APR 2011 BY JEREMY MCDERMOTT EN

An article in Cali’s El Pais looks at how the FARC are increasingly using militia networks, rather than full-time regular guerrilla units, to launch attacks on the security forces.  The militias are either tied to fronts (columns) of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC), or part of the FARC’s clandestine political movement, the Movimiento Bolivariano (whose symbol is pictured to the left). They are made up largely of urban, part time rebels but do not have the military training of their rural counterparts.  Able to camouflage themselves among the civilian population, militiamen provide fewer identifiable targets for the security forces.  This report coincides with information received by InSight from Colombian intelligence sources that while the FARC official numbers have halved since 2002, to 8,000 fighters, the number of militiamen has increased to close to 10,000.

  • Presidents Hugo Chavez and Juan Manuel Santos met in Cartagena to further bilateral trade and cooperation.  While commerce and economic cooperation dominated most of the 16 agreements signed, there was discussion about drug trafficking. Santos, for example, confirmed that Venezuelan drug trafficker Walid Makled would be extradited to Venezuela, not the United States.  Makled made some damning statements about the Venezuelan security forces this past week in an interview with Univision TV, and the United States has sought to prosecute him on drug charges. Venezuela has not only become a principal transit nation for Colombian cocaine, but it is also a refuge for many of Colombia’s top drug traffickers, among them Daniel Barrera, alias "El Loco," and Luis Enrique Calle Serna, alias "Comba," the top leader of the Rastrojos.  Should tight cooperation between the security forces of Venezuela and Colombia become a reality, this will force the drug cartels to reduce their exposure in Venezuela and perhaps look elsewhere for havens.
  • Honduran Defense Minister, Marlon Pascua, announced that the army will now be deployed in support of the police against organized crime and drug trafficking.  Honduras has seen the arrival of Mexican cartels, which are adding to already record homicide rates, much of which is generated by street gangs, the so-called "maras." The minister stated that the use of the army heralded a new strategy by the government to tackle rising crime and violence, the details of which will be announced in the coming days.
  • The Washington Post did an article on how children are increasingly being killed as part of the Mexican cartel war. There is no limit to the drug related violence and children, even babies are used to “punish” rivals and to intimidate communities. It seems there are no codes of conduct between the Mexican organized crime gangs.
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 / 19 JUL 2012

Authorities in southwest Colombia's Valle del Cauca province are bracing themselves for another violent realignment of underworld forces following the…

COLOMBIA / 24 JUN 2015

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

AUC / 19 JUN 2013

An emblematic land restitution campaign in north Colombia illustrates how in some parts of the country, the BACRIM continue to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…