HomeNewsBriefWas Peru Officer Falsely Jailed over FARC Weapons Leak?
BRIEF

Was Peru Officer Falsely Jailed over FARC Weapons Leak?

FARC / 23 MAY 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Claims that a Peruvian air force officer has been wrongly imprisoned over accusations that he helped supply military weapons to Colombia's FARC guerrillas may point to a lack of will to thoroughly investigate the allegations, which date back to 2004.

In 2004, Colombian troops seized a FAL assault rifle with Peruvian Air Force markings from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). A 2011 Colombian inquiry revealed that official records showed it had been decommissioned in 2005, and destroyed along with more than 1,200 other rifles in 2008.

A Peruvian military investigation found that only 165 were destroyed, as La Republica reported. The rest were allegedly taken by a group of people, dressed in civilian clothing and driving a civilian vehicle, who entered the military installation and took the weapons without showing any documentation, claiming they were taking the arms to another base.

One of the accused named Major Dennys Manrique Alcazar as having taken the weapons, winning himself a reduced sentence. Manrique was detained in December 2011.

Peru's Legal Defense Institute, a human rights NGO, has come to the defense of Manrique, who maintains that he is innocent. One of the group's lawyers said Manrique was likely accused for personal reasons, according to the La Republica report.

InSight Crime Analysis

If Manrique is innocent, this could indicate a lack of will on the part of the Peruvian military to properly investigate the siphoning of weapons to illegal armed groups.

It is possible that many of the missing rifles ended up with the FARC, and indeed there are suggestions that the trade continues. A Peruvian congressman told press in 2011 that the Colombian rebel group still buys weapons stolen from Peru's military. In one scheme, Peruvian soldiers delivered weapons, reportedly including anti-aircraft missiles, to a FARC operative at the Ecuadorian border, who then trafficked them to Colombia.

The FARC obtain their arms from a variety of sources. A 2005 study (see pdf) by the RAND Corporation says most of the illicit arms entering Colombia from Ecuador and Peru are stolen by those countries' soldiers and private security guards from their stockpiles. The FARC also sources arms from other illegal actors. Last month, Colombian authorities intercepted a shipment of around 160 rifles, four grenade launchers, and other equipment, apparently belonging to the Rastrojos drug gang, that was set to be traded with the FARC for narcotics. In March 2011, Ecuador raided an unlicensed weapons factory that had apparently supplied the 29th and 48th Fronts of the rebel army.

Image, above, shows Peruvian soldiers standing guard with FAL rifles, similar to that seized by Colombian soldiers in 2004.

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

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on…

COLOMBIA / 4 JUL 2022

While the death of Iván Márquez is yet to be confirmed, his passing would mark a major turning point in…

ELITES AND CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

From unchecked agricultural development to wildlife trafficking, corruption greases the wheels of every environmental crime in the Peruvian Amazon.

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…