HomeNewsBriefFlorida-Based Networks Traffic Arms into Colombia: Police
BRIEF

Florida-Based Networks Traffic Arms into Colombia: Police

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 13 NOV 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

US and Colombian police say that they have uncovered evidence of two Florida-based networks which smuggled arms into Colombia, evidence of the role US gun traffickers play in arming criminal groups in the country.

El Tiempo reported that the discovery of an illegal arms shipment in Bogota's international airport resulted in Colombian and US authorities identifying two separate family-run arms trafficking networks which sent weapons from central and south Florida to Colombia. No arrests have been announced in the case so far.

According to officials, the families are based in the Florida cities of Tampa and Miami, and shipped arms to relatives in Barranquilla and Medellin. Further investigation by Colombia's judicial police (DIJIN) revealed that the main buyers of these weapons were the Rastrojos and Urabeños drug gangs. One of the trafficking networks, according to DIJIN investigators, is headed by a former demobilized member of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) who now resides in the United States.

The illicit cargo, mostly consisting of pistols, grenades and various kinds of ammunition, was hidden inside electronic appliances in order to pass through customs undetected. 

InSight Crime Analysis

While most illegal weapons enter Colombia from neighboring countries like Ecuador or Venezuela, this is not the first time that an investigation has pointed to the United States as a source of weapons for the South American country. Police in Medellin have traced several semi-automatic pistols and a P90 compact assault rifle to a gun store in Miami, and believe that the "Miami connection" is a major source of high-powered weaponry to the Colombian criminal underworld. 

Gun stores in the southwest US have also been linked to the illicit arms trade in Colombia. In September, Colombian press reported that at least two rifles and 14 pistols linked to the controversial "Fast and Furious" operation, which was created with the intent to monitor cartel gun purchases along the US/Mexico border, had fallen into the hands of Colombian 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.

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 / 11 MAR 2013

The Sinaloa Cartel has been buying up FARC drug trafficking franchises as the rebels look to divest themselves of their…

COLOMBIA / 8 JUN 2021

Repeated attacks on teams recovering stolen lands in Colombia highlight the risks involved in restitution, a little-known process that is…

COLOMBIA / 31 JAN 2013

The US government has placed sanctions on Colombian drug gang the Rastrojos, including one of its top leaders who was…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…