RealNews

Colombia Paramilitary Linked to Drugs; Confidential Report by Government Alleges Trafficking

A confidential assessment prepared for the president of Colombia on whether peace talks should begin with the nation’s main paramilitary force has concluded that the group, which frequently fights alongside the Colombian military, is a drug-trafficking organization, according to a copy of the document. A six-month review commissioned by President Alvaro Uribe sought to evaluate the possibility of peace talks with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as the AUC, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization. The review says that “it is impossible to differentiate between the self-defense groups and narco-trafficking organizations.” The review also contends that paramilitary leaders seek to exploit peace talks to protect their drug-trafficking profits. The paramilitary organization was founded in the late 1980s, initially funded by large ranchers and private businesses that were targets of kidnappings and extortion at the hands of Marxist guerrillas. The first units formed in northwest Colombia and along the central Magdalena River basin where the guerrillas also flourished. In recent years, however, both paramilitary forces and the guerrillas have reportedly turned to drug trafficking to fund their operations. The government report officially states for the first time the scope of drug trafficking by the paramilitary forces. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.