FARC Member Detained in Ecuador Is Linked to Mexican Cartel

By Dialogo
June 30, 2011

A leader of the FARC Marxist guerrilla group, deported to Colombia after being detained in Ecuador, has ties to the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, according to intelligence reports, although there are no legal proceedings pending against him in Mexico, a local police source told AFP on 29 June.

“There are international intelligence reports that link him to Los Rastrojos [The Stubble], and in particular to the brothers Javier and Luis Enrique Calle, leaders of that gang, which supplies drugs to the Sinaloa cartel,” led by drug boss Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, considered Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficker, the police source said, asking not to be identified.

The detainee, Fabio Ramírez Artunduaga (alias ‘Danilo’), was identified followed his detention in Quito on 27 June as the second-ranking leader of Front 48 of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

He and his companion, Yanenci Hoyos, both detained at a commercial center in the Ecuadorean capital, were turned over by Ecuador the following day to Colombian agents who arrived in a military plane to transfer them to Bogotá.

“In Mexico, there are no legal proceedings against them, only the intelligence information,” the source affirmed.

The FARC’s Front 48, which operates in a border area between Ecuador and Colombia, was included by the U.S. Treasury Department on the ‘Clinton List,’ which includes the names of businesses, organizations, and individuals linked to drug cartels, a year ago.

Ramírez was a right-hand man of Olidem Romel Solarte Cerón (‘Oliver Solarte’), in charge of finances for the FARC’s Southern Bloc, who died in April and maintained contacts with the Sinaloa cartel.

This cartel, based chiefly on the Mexican Pacific coast, controls a large part of the drug routes in the extensive border strip that runs from the city of Tijuana, in the extreme northwest, to Ciudad Juárez (in northern Mexico), bordering on the U.S. states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.