HomeNewsBriefPolice Find 'FARC' Landing Strips in Colombia's Pacific
BRIEF

Police Find 'FARC' Landing Strips in Colombia's Pacific

COLOMBIA / 8 AUG 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Colombian police announced the discovery of two clandestine landing strips in the southwest province of Cauca, indicating that drug smugglers are moving their product out of the region by both land and air.

The air strips were found in the municipalities of Balboa, where the 80th and 60th Fronts of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are both present, and Mercaderes, where the 64th Front has some presence.

The chief of Colombia’s anti-narcotics police told EFE that the strips belonged to the FARC. They were reportedly found near coca cultivations and a cocaine processing lab.

Cauca is one of Colombia’s most conflict-hit regions, where the FARC launches some of its most aggressive attacks against the security forces. In recent weeks, the conflict has intensified to the point that members of a Cauca indigenous group attempted to eject the military from their territory, stating they were tired of being caught in the middle of the civil conflict.

InSight Crime Analysis

Cauca is a major area of marijuana production in Colombia, and is also a distribution point for cocaine and coca paste produced further south. The head of the anti-narcotics force, Luis Alberto Perez, told El Espectador that so far they have identified 195 different methods used by drug traffickers to smuggle drug shipments out of the embattled department. One of the most popular techniques involves smuggling small packages of narcotics, ranging from one to 10 kilos, popularly known as “ant” smuggling.

The ant smugglers are deployed in order to distract the police, while larger shipments of cocaine are trafficked via other routes, Perez said. He added that the FARC also carry out attacks against the security forces in order to divert their attention from drug shipments. This theory could help explain why Cauca frequently sees firefights between the FARC and the security forces, unlike more peaceful parts of the country where the guerrillas prefer not to engage aggressively with the government.

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 / 8 AUG 2012

High-ranking FARC commander alias "Fabian Ramirez," who was thought to have died in a bombing raid in 2010, has reappeared…

COLOMBIA / 25 AUG 2011

Colombia's Supreme Court ruled against harsh punishments for small-time drug offenders, in a move towards easing up Colombia's zero-tolerance drug…

COLOMBIA / 7 OCT 2019

The ex-FARC mafia's 18th Front has announced that it will stand in alliance with the new guerrilla movement led by…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

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…