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

AUC / 26 JUN 2022

The former paramilitary commander and drug lord, alias “Memo Fantasma,” may walk out of prison in Colombia on June 28.

AUC / 13 APR 2022

It was 7:00 at night. Carolina was lying in bed and turned on the TV just as a news reporter…

COCAINE / 28 APR 2022

The rapid expansion of FARC dissident groups has brought an end to a fleeting period of tranquility in Putumayo. Now,…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…