HomeNewsBriefAre FARC Rebels Training Mexican Drug Cartels?
BRIEF

Are FARC Rebels Training Mexican Drug Cartels?

COLOMBIA / 18 MAY 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Two US intelligence officers have reportedly told a Mexican newspaper members of the Jalisco Cartel were trained by Colombian rebels, which if true could have significant implications on the guerrillas' potential for criminalization should a peace agreement be signed. 

The unidentified government officials reportedly told Proceso US intelligence reports indicate in recent months the FARC have trained Mexico's Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG, for its Spanish acronym) and their close ally, Los Cuinis, in remote areas of the Colombian jungle. 

"The reports we obtained in Colombia show various bosses of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation and Los Cuinis were trained by the FARC in assault tactics [to be used against] members of the military," one official is quoted as saying. 

Another intelligence official reportedly stated the number of cartel members instructed by the FARC amounts to "a few dozen, no more than 50 individuals, perhaps." 

These reports are timely considering the CJNG recently shot down a military helicopter using a rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG), an attack that killed eight Mexican soldiers and police officers.

InSight Crime Analysis

If the reports of FARC rebels training Mexican cartels are true, it is unlikely these actions were sanctioned by the guerrilla group's central command, known as the Secretariat. However, it would not be unprecedented for a member of the Secretariat to establish connections with a Mexican drug cartel. Before his death in 2010, the FARC's top military commander, Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias "Mono Jojoy," reportedly ordered a FARC doctor to make contacts with Mexico's Tijuana Cartel in 2000. Still, examples of FARC leadership agreeing to work with Mexican cartels are rare and especially unlikely under Colombia's current political climate.

SEE ALSO: FARC News and Profile

For over two years the FARC have been engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government, and the Secretariat is unlikely to approve any contacts with Mexican cartels, an action which could antagonize the state and the international community. The peace process suffered a major setback following the killing of 11 soldiers by a FARC mobile column in April, and the rebel's central command would surely face yet more criticism if it were found to have sanctioned the trianing of  Mexican drug cartels. 

This raises the possibility that low-level FARC commanders have been organizing training sessions for the CJNG without the consent of the Secretariat. This would be a concerning development, given the potential criminalization of some FARC units in a post-conflict environment. In one possible scenario, rogue FARC elements would work directly with Mexican cartels, cutting out the middleman -- currently Colombia's neo-paramilitary groups, known as the BACRIM -- in the regional cocaine trade, thereby generating higher profits for both the guerrillas and the cartels. 

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

AUC / 13 APR 2022

At the start of 2010, the former Colombian paramilitary leader Hernán Giraldo Serna was completing his sentence for drug trafficking…

COLOMBIA / 25 OCT 2021

Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel,” was the most-wanted man in Colombia. His arrest was seen as so significant that a…

COLOMBIA / 12 MAY 2011

Reheated reports that Colombia's biggest guerrilla group the FARC trained pro-Chavez militia groups in Venezuela, while not new, are a…

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…