Colombian government has documented that weapons it has captured from Communist guerrillas


By Toby Westerman
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Working in cooperation with the International Police organization, Interpol, the Colombian government has documented that weapons it has captured from Communist guerrillas over the past decade have come from at least 20 nations - including the United States.

These weapons have been used against U.S. citizens in the past, and an increasingly tense Latin American region threatens that similar—or even more sophisticated weapons—will in the near future take lives of U.S. military personnel stationed in the region.

For 40 years, Colombia has fought the narco-terror guerrilla army known by its Spanish acronym, FARC (in English, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The FARC, however, is far more than a group of ideologues picking through jungle undergrowth, waiting for the next opportunity for an ambush.

The FARC is a sophisticated Marxist terror organization with agents and sympathizers around the world, as its global arms purchases suggest. Money flowing from the sale of narcotics, as well as kidnapping and other forms of intimidation, finance FARC political and military activities, which have included diplomatic representatives in Europe and the training of drug cartel fighters in Mexico.

Arms have come from various sources to the FARC through Panama, which borders on Colombia, as well as from neighboring Venezuela. A significant amount of weaponry, however, is shipped into Colombia from an area called the Triple Frontier, a region where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil share a common border.

The Triple Frontier also is an area with a large Muslim population, some of whom are sympathetic or work closely with fundamentalist Islamic groups. In addition to arms, passports and personal identities are also bought and sold. For years FARC agents have had the opportunity to develop a relationship with Muslim jihadists in this region, sharing a common hatred for one particular enemy - the United States.

Cooperation between the FARC and Islamic fundamentalists in the acquisition of weapons and false identity is an extremely strong probability, which has frightening security implications for the still-vulnerable U.S. southern border.

FARC money has assisted the election of Raphael Correa to the presidency of Ecuador, which neighbors Colombia to the west. Since Correa came to power, FARC units have used Ecuador to stage raids on Colombia and for a safe haven after those attacks. U.S. armor-piercing rockets provided to a previous pro-American government in Ecuador have found their way into the hands of the FARC.

A Colombian counter-raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador in March 1, 2008 resulted in the death of the number two FARC leader who went by the name “Raul Reyes.