Colombia and Panama Hunt FARC Chief for Drug Trafficking on Border
By Dialogo June 16, 2009BOGOTA, June 15, 2009 (AFP) - Colombian and Panamanian authorities are working hard to capture the leader of Front 57 of the FARC guerrillas, Gilberto Torres, a.k.a. " El Becerro," (“The Calf”) who is in charge of drug and weapon trafficking on the border, according to the newspaper El Tiempo in Bogota on Monday. ‘El Becerro’ is a priority for the authorities of both countries because he has become "one of the key men for the FARC finances, as the area has become a strategic corridor for drug, weapon, and explosive trafficking, and the abduction of civilians," according to the newspaper. Torres is accused in Panama of being responsible for the kidnapping of the Cuban-American businessman Cecilio Cubas, for whose release $60 million was demanded. Once released, Cubas said that during his captivity he was confined in a jungle area on the border of Colombia. The report stated that "at least a dozen towns and mobility corridors, including rivers, are controlled by ‘El Becerro’ on the border with Panama." One Police Intelligence source, quoted by the newspaper, said that "the Perancho, Salaqui, and Jampayadó rivers are the main corridors used for drug trafficking." The source also states that Front 57 of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas has a network of partners in neighboring towns such as Zapzurro, Pinigana, El Naranjal, Manana, Guayabo, Unguía, Paya, and Riosucio. Finally, the source noted that ‘El Becerro’ has links with gangs in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. However, his main contact is in Panama and it would be the man known as 'Boa,' who coordinates the transport of drug cargos through two points: Turbo, in Colombia, and Jaqué, in Panama.