Colombian Army dismantles the FARC’s financial structures
By Dialogo October 06, 2014
The Colombian National Army is attacking the financial structures of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), two terrorist groups which use funds from counterfeiting, illegal mining, drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises to fund their violent activities.
The Army has made significant inroads in the battle to disrupt drug trafficking by the FARC and the ELN. Both groups generate a significant amount of their funds from trafficking drugs, according to Yadira Gálvez González, a security analyst from the National Autónomous University of Mexico.
Army soldiers are disrupting drug trafficking operations not only by seizing cocaine and marijuana, but by dismantling drug-producing operations.
For example, on September 17, Colombian Army soldiers with the Mobile Brigade 14, who are part of Task Force Apolo, destroyed a marijuana greenhouse in the municipality of Corinto, department of Cauca. The greenhouse contained 6,000 marijuana plants and was worth about $3.3 million (USD).
In early September, soldiers with the Jungle Battalion 52 Colonel José Dolores Solano, Brigade 31, destroyed 140,000 coca plants in the municipality of Cararu, Vaupés. Coca is the primary ingredient used to make cocaine. Soldiers suspect the coca plants were being cultivated by the FARC’s Front Urias Cuéllar.
Drug trafficking remains one of the main sources of generating funds for the FARC and the ELN. Disrupting the ability of the two groups to traffic drugs limits the funds they can generate for terrorist attacks.
The FARC produces and traffics as much as 150 tons of cocaine annually, which generates about $2.5 billion (USD) a year, according to reports published in May 2014 in the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
An arrest and seizures
Army soldiers recently captured an alleged FARC operative who was a key part of the terrorist group’s financial network.
On September 6, the Army announced the capture of a suspected FARC operative who is known as “Metrallo,” age 45. Metrallo allegedly managed funds the FARC obtained through extortion and drug trafficking. Metrallo allegedly worked with the FARC’s Front 63.
Troops attached to the Mobile Brigade 6, of the Specific Command of Caguán, captured Metrallo in the neighborhood of Buenos Aires, municipality of Cartagena del Chairá, in the department of Caquetá.
A day before the Army announced the capture of Metrallo, troops from the First Division located a stolen truck that soldiers suspect the FARC was using to transport stolen auto parts, according to an Army statement. In a separate operation, Army soldiers in south Tolima, municipality of Planadas, seized ten motorbikes allegedly used by FARC operatives.
In late August, soldiers with the Ninth Brigade of the Special Energy Battalion in the municipality of Gigante seized a bag filled with 15 million counterfeit pesos. Soldiers suspect the counterfeit money belonged to the FARC. The soldiers seized the counterfeit pesos after receiving intelligence that the FARC was transporting counterfeit funds in the region.
Terrorist groups diversify: security analyst
Because Colombian security forces have been successful in disrupting the drug trafficking enterprises of the FARC and the ELN, the terrorist groups are turning to other criminal activities to raise money.
“(Colombia) has become much better at tackling the flow of illicit money. Cutting organized crime’s flow of money is the most effective blow you can deal,” said Catalina Uribe Burcher, program officer for the Democracy, Conflict and Security unit at International IDEA, an intergovernmental agency which supports democracy throughout the world.
International cooperation is crucial in the battle against the FARC, the ELN, and transnational criminal organizations.
“The Colombian authorities are working with other Latin American countries to eradicate the coca fields, seize large quantities of drug, and better utilize technology. The security forces are improving their capabilities of maritime intervention and strengthening the international cooperation in judicial matters,” said security analyst Gálvez.
“We have made significant progress in the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia and the drug manufacturing has been declining in the country. The authorities, through information sharing with other nations, have been hitting harder the organized crime inside and outside of the country.”
I don't like the article because it's too short. It has no argumentation What awaits us if the government's peace project fails, when these gentlemen who were subjected to the previous government. Now are equipping themselves financially, territorially, politically, weapons and human resources, with youth from an early age. It's pure cocaine, false positives are what gets reported and then they bleed the country dry with accusations. I like it EXCELLENT WORK BY OUR ARMED FORCES. GOD BLESS THEM, ACCORDING TO THE FARC NARCO TERRORISTS THEY ARE NOT TERRORISTS OR NARCOS OR ASSASSINS. I SAY DEAD OR ALIVE INSOFAR AS THEY ARE VICTIMS OF THE STATE The Colombian Army is working at weakening the financial streams of income which are a bloodline for the guerrilla movement. The administration plays a crucial role in the art of anti-guerrilla combat, the actions of counter intelligence strike a heavy blow against the plans for barbaric acts against civilian and military targets, and their control over drug trafficking is definite, that's why they are at the negotiating table, hoping the government doesn't press on the fight against drug trafficking. Well, it has them sunk, without dollars their supplies dry up and the well-being of the bosses who live in other countries like millionaires exploiting the blood shed of young guerrilla fighters who give their lives to support those parasites called bosses. The army, the best entity the country has The future of our Colombia is in the hands of our authorities. Because if there is corruption among them and disdain for the homeland, we will never have a great country. Thank you and blessings to those who fight for us, against this scourge. Mr. Oscar Luis CÃ¡rdenas, I want to ask you about the little key because I haven't heard from you again That is good for the Colombian army to ensure the population that there is nothing left for the terrorists but to lay down terrorism and join the people to work for the country of Colombia. This comment is from a Dominican who loves Colombia