Mexican cartels trade weapons for cocaine and violence for fuel in Colombia

It looks like Mexican drug cartels are sending powerful weapons to Colombia Paying for transporting cocaineA trade that, according to the authorities of the South American country, is intensifying the deadly battle between rival local groups. Control of drug trafficking and its routes

Ten Colombian police officers are involved on the front lines of the fight against drug trafficking and with illegal armed groups of cocaine traffickers, Reuters told Reuters. Rifles, assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols Arrival in South America.

Among the weapons seized by traffickers Belgian-made FN Five-sevenN pistolCalled the “Police Assassin”, a 5.7 caliber weapon with the ability to penetrate body armor.

Most of the 1,478 long-range weapons seized by Colombia’s illegal armed groups in 2020 and 2021 were manufactured and smuggled abroad. Same smuggling routes Used to smuggle cocaine, military and law enforcement sources say.

The Mexican Drug Cartels Easy access to weapons purchased in the United States And long-term business relationships with Colombian armed groups from whom, according to local officials, they have been buying cocaine for decades.

But now Mexican cartels’ emissaries are increasingly paying for cocaine shipments at gunpoint, police say in part. Avoid moving large amounts of money About borders.

Firearms supplied by Mexican cartels may have a negative impact on Colombia’s security.

Weapons owned by illegal armed groups Endanger the military And it could further complicate the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement with demobilized FARC guerrillas. (FARC).

All 148 members of the Colombian armed forces and national police were killed last year, the highest number in six years. 57.4% more than in 2020According to Ministry of Defense statistics.

A spokesperson for the National Police’s National Counterterrorism Weapons Tracking and Information Center (CIARA) said:

“What illegal armed groups in Colombia are doing is using Mexicans to arm state forces.”

He added that this could have serious consequences in the future, such as increased hostilities. So said an official who warned that armed groups could not only use weapons against the armed forces, but also: Violent fights between them.

The agency allowed the person to speak to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Attempts to prevent weapons intrusion

Colombian police say they have a Ongoing dialogue with their US and Mexican counterparts They tried not to fall into the hands of arms dealers.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declined to comment, while the Mexican government did not respond to questions from Reuters.

Former FARC members fight to control drug trade in Colombia, reject peace deal, supporters still National Liberation Army in action (ELN) and other criminal groups, including: golf clan, It is considered to be the largest cartel in the South American country.

All of these illegal groups are involved in internal armed conflicts that have lasted nearly six decades. More than 260,000 were killed and millions displacedAccording to official statistics.

While dissidents from FARC and ELN share some The same revolutionary ideals And sometimes at the height of the internal conflict against the state, allies now regularly fight each other and criminal gangs to dominate lucrative drug routes, security officials say.

The attack by the armed forces and the national police on these groups is exposed They have powerful weapons.

In mid-December last year, the Colombian army launched an operation against FARC dissidents in the Narino department. An important coca leaf producing area And cocaine in the southwest of the country.

The military has reportedly imprisoned 16 people in the dense green jungle and seized weapons, including 24 M16 and AR-15 submachine gun American production.

Another similar arsenal was seized in the FARC dissident camp in 2019. Kaketa Jungle DivisionIn the south of the country.

Twelve rifles, including M4s and M16s, an M60 machine gun and an AR-15 telescopic rifle for sniper use, were discovered after the bombing of the camp, according to the military.

Existence of emissaries of the Mexican cartel

Military and law enforcement agencies believe that these weapons are supplied New generation of Mexican cartels from Sinaloa, Zetas and JaliscoAll emissaries in Colombia.

Your representatives are present 11 of the 32 departments of ColombiaAccording to a 2021 police intelligence report accessed by Reuters.

The Sinaloa Cartel, once led by Capo, who was once in prison Joaquin “El Chapo” GuzmanAccording to the report, Colombia has the greatest geographic access to and the deepest links to armed groups.

According to the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute, at least 55 Mexicans have been arrested in Colombia in the past three years and are currently in prison on charges of drug trafficking or deportation.

Modeled on the presence of Mexican envoys in Colombia, where, in addition to buying goods, they monitor the quality of cocaine and the shipping routes, the police, with the support of the DEA, arrested Brian Donaciano Olguin in Cali last week, accused. Sinaloa Cartel Ambassador Negotiating money transfers with FARC dissidents

Colombia’s Police Director General Jorge Luis Vargas described Olguin, who demanded extradition from the United States, as “the key link in the Sinaloa cartel for trafficking cocaine to FARC dissidents” and “the key result “. In terms of capturing ambassadors, delegates and Mexican cartel drug buyers

Reuters was unable to contact Olguin or determine if he has legal advice.

Drug cartels waging their own war in Mexico have amassed powerful military weapons, causing concern for authorities in their own country.

government of the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Last year it sued arms manufacturers for promoting human trafficking, which the manufacturers deny.

López Obrador has filed an unprecedented lawsuit against several US arms manufacturers, accusing them of “negligent practices” in facilitating the trade of their products to Mexico. One of these weapons is the fearsome Barrett M82.

Manufactured by Barrett Firearms, the rifle uses .50 caliber bullets that can easily penetrate body armor, concrete, and even military tanks and is one of the packs. A favorite weapon of Mexican criminals Used to confront local security forces.

US arms makers are pushing for stricter enforcement of existing laws, including arresting people for stealing and smuggling weapons, Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the US Department of Defense, said in an email. National Sports Shooting FundFirearms Industry Trade Group.

Guns are a convenient way to pay for drugs.

Paying cocaine suppliers at gunpoint, not cash, helps Mexican cartels launder profits and facilitate cash, said General Fernando Murillo, head of the National Criminal Investigation Directorate of Colombia’s National Police.

“These drug trafficking negotiations are getting more difficult every day. So they use different modalities, after which the Mexican cartel can pay with advanced weapons.

Modern weapons and more violence

Until the 1990s, Colombian guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries mainly used Russian AK-47 rifles from the Central American wars. National Police and Armed Forces.

As the drug trade expanded and became more profitable, armed groups also switched to new US-made AK-47s, M16s and AR-15s. Israeli-made Tavor assault riflesThat’s what law enforcement has said.

Although some weapons cost the same $500 in ColombiaAccording to sources, the machine gun can cost up to R$5,000.

According to police, the leaders of the second Marquetalia, the FARC’s splinter group, appeared in a 2019 YouTube video armed with Tavor rifles, believed to be by Mexican cartels.

The DEA estimates that Colombian criminal gangs make about $10 billion annually from drug trafficking.

Arms trafficking in the south comes at a time when Colombian departments such as Norte de Santander, on the Venezuelan border, as well as the Pacific coast of Nariño and Cauca, are reporting an increase in coca leaf production and violence. Despite President Ivan Duke’s US-backed efforts to reduce cocaine production.

Only the ear clan moved during its heyday About 20 tons of cocaine per month for its customersColombian police, including the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, say that group’s allies used an FN Five-sevenN pistol in the city of Medellín during an internal dispute.

Some weapons may be provided Mexican Cartels Enter Colombia From VenezuelaSay police and army officers.

Dissident leaders like Ivan Marquez, who heads a second marketing division, find emissaries in Venezuela. New Generation of Cartels from Sinaloa and JaliscoThe director of the National Police, General Vargas, reported this to Reuters.

He has long accused the Venezuelan government of offering asylum to illegal armed groups in Colombia, including dissidents from the FARC and ELN, allegations denied by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The government of Caracas did not respond to a request for comment.

Reuters

Source: La Neta Neta

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