HomeNewsBriefFARC Using Peace Talks to Buy Arms: Ecuador General
BRIEF

FARC Using Peace Talks to Buy Arms: Ecuador General

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 16 JAN 2013 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The FARC rebel group has been increasing its arms purchases since the beginning of peace talks with the Colombian government, according to an Ecuadorean general.

Army General Fernando Proaño Daza, who commands troops on his country’s border with Colombia, told EFE that arms trafficking had increased since the beginning of the peace process, which formally began in October. According to Proaño, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is "taking advantage of this situation to strengthen its position, as a precaution against what could happen in the future."

The general said that the the army had seized large quantities of weapons and ammunition in recent months, including some 1,300 sticks of explosives in a clandestine arms factory close to the Colombian border on January 9.

InSight Crime Analysis

Suspicion that the FARC are using peace talks in order to gain a respite from military attacks and build up their strength is one of the biggest obstacles the Colombian government faces in selling the talks to the public. During the last round of peace talks the government granted the FARC a large demilitarized zone, which the rebels used to build up their forces and launch attacks for more than three years, until negotiations fell apart in 2002.

The government of Juan Manuel Santos has been careful to avoid any suggestion that history could repeat itself, refusing to grant a ceasefire while talks take place, even after the FARC declared in November that they would temporarily suspend hostilities. 

The FARC's ceasefire is due to end on January 20, although the government has repeatedly claimed that the rebels failed to honor their pledge and have carried out a string of attacks. It is possible, however, that these were carried out by dissident rebel factions that refused to recognize the temporary truce, and were not military actions sanctioned by the FARC's top leadership.

Meanwhile, the Colombian government is taking its own measures to prepare for the possibility that talks could fail, announcing the purchase of $7.6 billion of new military equipment in 2013, and the expansion of the armed forces by 25,000 troops over the next two years. Santos justified the investment in the military by stating, "We have to be prepared for anything. This means reinforcing our infrastructure in case the dialogues fail," as Dialogo Americas reported.

Ecuador is an important source of weapons for the Colombian rebels, who have been known to maintain munitions and arms factories in the neighboring country. The FARC also use Ecuador as a source of explosives like pentolite. Corrupt official networks in Ecuador have also been accused of collaborating with the FARC, according to a 2006 United Nations report, which described the Ecuadorean military as a major supplier of weapons to the rebel group.

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

COCAINE / 9 FEB 2021

In 1989, Los Angeles police transformed Europe's cocaine trade when they broke open a padlock guarding a Californian warehouse.

COLOMBIA / 28 JUN 2021

Convulsed by nearly eight weeks of anti-government protests, the Colombian city of Cali has also experienced a terrible surge in…

COCAINE / 29 JUN 2022

Turkish and foreign law enforcement have seized record quantities of cocaine heading from South America to Turkey, revealing the growing…

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…