FARC Cashes in on Mexican Drug War

Mexico’s drug war is still raging, with over 22,000 people having been killed since 2006. Now, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, often referred to as the FARC, are teaming up with the drug lords. The Marxist terrorist group’s ties to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other organizations make the conflict to the south a major threat to the United States.

The violence in Mexico is severe. In the first two days of May, 25 people were killed in Chihuahua, with several of the murders happening in Ciudad Juarez. As the month of May began, 62 people had been killed in the city over the previous week, bringing the total to 850 lives lost in that city alone in 2010. Last year, the Joint Forces Command warned that Mexico and Pakistan were the two countries most at risk of “rapid and sudden collapse.” There have been arrests of high-profile drug lords, but the violence and corruption continues.

The latest arrest of Mario Ernesto Villanueva Madrid revealed how deeply he had corrupted Mexican law enforcement. Documents captured after his arrest found that he was bribing those commanding the police and soldiers searching him, which explains how he was able to avoid capture for 11 years. The New York Times described Madrid as running “a sophisticated counterintelligence operation.” The drug lords are growing bolder, and instead of opening fire when they are pursued, they are now on the offensive. They are directly attacking the police, soldiers, and those serving the government.

Dr. Maria Velez de Berliner, the President of the Latin Intelligence Corporation, told FrontPage that the brutality of the Mexican drug lords now surpasses that of the Colombian drug traffickers, which is quite a feat.

“If this situation continues, the time will probably come when Mexico will replace Colombia as the largest producer and exporter of cocaine,” she said.

Now, it is known that the FARC is teaming up with the drug lords, offering a major source of income for their own operations and potentially providing the criminals with the military expertise they need to further destabilize Mexico. The FARC connection also gives Hugo Chavez the ability to covertly attack Mexico and the United States and gain intelligence. It also means that other terrorist groups that are connected to FARC or the drug lords have the ability to send arms and operatives into the U.S. if they are willing to pay for it.

The leader of the FARC until 2008, the late Raul Reyes, is now known to have written a letter to his top commanders confirming that a relationship with the Mexican drug lords existed. He was enthusiastic about the new partnership, saying it would allow them to double their profits. It is estimated that FARC already makes $1 billion annually through its work with drug lords. According to Michael Braum, a former operations chief for the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Mexican criminals want to buy “multiton quantities of cocaine directly from South America.”

Dr. Maria Velez de Berliner said that the “FARC is not interested in attacking the U.S, they don’t have the field capability to do so.” However, she warns that FARC’s business with other terrorists and drug traffickers does threaten the U.S.

Olavo de Carvalho, a philosopher from Brazil who has written extensively about the activity of the Marxists in Latin America, agreed with her, saying that the FARC will not initiate military operations against the U.S. in the near-term.

“…but they can give strategic support to Mexican gangs operating in American territory, exactly as they did with several Brazilian gangs, transforming them from mere bunches of criminals into powerful and well-armed organizations. This is a serious and imminent threat,” he said.

The instability in Mexico is directly benefiting Hezbollah, which is now tied to the Venezuelan government and possibly the FARC. The smuggling routes used by the Mexican drug lords are being utilized by Hezbollah, using “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels,” said Braun. The terrorist group has a long history of engaging in drug trafficking in order to fundraise.

“They [Hezbollah] are doing the same thing in Latin America that they are doing in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon, and providing medical and social services,” Dr. de Berliner said.

She also mentioned that the FARC is working with Chinese gangs in the tri-border area of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. These gangs could potentially buy and upgrade the FARC’s semi-submersibles and use them in their human trafficking efforts, allowing them to potentially insert operatives into the U.S.

Al-Qaeda also will benefit from the FARC’s new ventures, and could conceivably pay them, or the Mexican drug lords, to help them smuggle in operatives. In fact, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Al-Shabaab, may have already done so as someone connected to the group oversaw the smuggling of 270 Somalis into the U.S. through Mexico.

FARC has already begun using Al-Qaeda members in West Africa in order to deliver drugs to Europe. Three members of Al-Qaeda have been arrested in West Africa and were extradited to the U.S. in December. The DEA’s director of South America’s Andean region says that “All of the aircraft seizures that have been made in West Africa, and we’ve made about a half a dozen of them, had departed from Venezuela.”

The separatist Basque ETA terrorists of Spain have entered into an alliance with the FARC as well, an unsurprising development considering the hostile relationship between Spain and Venezuela. A Spanish court has charged a Venezuelan official and a dozen FARC and ETA members with terrorism-related offenses, and Venezuela is refusing to extradite the suspects.

The evidence against them stems from seizures made by the Colombians that provided evidence that ETA members attended FARC camps from 2003 to 2008, located near Machiques in Venezuela. The ETA members provided explosives training for at least five FARC units, and two former FARC operatives have confirmed seeing ETA members training at their camps in 2008. The ETA members traveled with Venezuelan military officers, proving that Chavez’s government is involved in the relationship. This is a reminder that Chavez and other leaders often use the terrorists they support as a liaison with other groups, providing them with deniability.

The crisis in Mexico can not be seen in isolation. The worst enemies of the United States and the West are seeing it as a platform with which to expand their own capabilities. The debate about how the open border facilitates illegal immigration must be modified, because the problem goes much further than that. Terrorist groups are using the strife in Mexico and the open border to fundraise and sneak their operatives into the U.S. as we speak.

  • donnamarie

    So, does Obama know this? It is a rhetorical question but one has to wonder (again rehetorically), if Obama does know this why would he say those ridiculous things about Arizona's new (actually not so new-remember the feds had it first) immigration law?

  • Cuban Refugee

    Considering the worrisome news from Arizona ranchers that prayer rugs and Korans have been found along the southern border route preferred by Mexican infiltrators to this country, it would not surprise me that, when the financial enchilada hits the meltdown fan, all the terrorists-in-waiting will come out like cucarachas from their underground cells to fulfill their Jihadist mission in the U.S. They will be joined in hatred by the agents of evil from FARC and Chavez' glorious red shirt Marxist brigade. Isn't it interesting that the border fence was being built until Obama assumed power? The covert Chief Jihadist Manchurian President who has destroyed our country is coolly facilitating its final takedown from within and without, and there is no one lifting a finger to stop him … may G-d help us!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/malcolmkyle malcolmkyle

    Prohibitionists dance hand in hand with every possible type of criminal one can imagine.

    An unholy alliance of ignorance, greed and hate which works to destroy all our hard fought freedoms, wealth and security.

    We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: "Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!"

    Nobody wants to see an end to prohibition because they want to use drugs. They wish to see proper legalized regulation because they are witnessing, on a daily basis, the dangers and futility of prohibition. 'Legalized Regulation' won't be the complete answer to all our drug problems, but it'll greatly ameliorate the crime and violence on our streets, and only then can we provide effective education and treatment.

    The whole nonsense of 'a disaster will happen if we end prohibition' sentiment sums up the delusional 'chicken little' stance of those who foolishly insist on continuing down this blind alley. As if a disaster isn’t already happening. As if prohibition has ever worked.

    To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It's outrageous insanity! –Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!

    The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it's name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    In an underground drug market, criminals and terrorists, needing an incentive to risk their own lives and liberty, grossly inflate prices which are further driven higher to pay those who 'take a cut' like corrupt law enforcement officials who are paid many times their wages to look the other way. This forces many users to become dealers themselves in order to afford their own consumption. This whole vicious circle turns ad infinitum. You literally couldn't dream up a worse scenario even if your life depended on it. For the second time within a century, we've carelessly lost "love's labour," and, "with the hue of dungeons and the scowl of night," have wantonly created our own worst nightmare.

    So should the safety and freedom of the rest of us be compromised because of the few who cannot control themselves?

    Many of us no longer think it should!

    • Chiggles

      Best FPM post ever.

    • jeisen

      I could not have said it better. Imagine 50% of the jails uinoccupied. Savings in court budgets, police, reduction of actual violent crimes. Is that too much to ask?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/migtex1234 migtex1234

    Isn't Gov't primary job = to protect American citizens? Note O & demo's standing cheer for Mexico's corrupt gov't. Building the wall/fence for protection is blocked by these leftist.
    does anyone in Gov't have the will to protect it's own? Very dangerous situation for US.
    How many citizens will be killed due to the lack of will in DC? Do they not care?

  • USMCSniper

    The proliferation of illegal immigrants, mostly from Mexico come to this country for a more opportunity. The only problem is that they are, as the moniker suggests, ILLEGAL. For those of you who didn’t get it, that means Not Legal.

    Probably the best way to curb this huge drain on our resources is to punish those employers who hire illegals and to cut off any public assistance, welfare, medical, or other services unless certified proof of citizenship is provided AND BUILD THE FENCE!

  • Jim Johnson

    Two groups stand to benefit greatly from illegal immigration. The Democrats because eventually illegal immigration will provide voters for them.

    The other group is those connected to the US Chamber of Commerce who see the low wages of illegals and H1bs as a source of great profits.

    Blame them both but above all blame the voters who persist in playing ping pong politics.
    They vote Republican to get the Democrats. Then when things go wrong they vote Democratic to get back at the Republicans.

    Either way they vote they get the same results. Either way the Democrats sponsors and the Republican sponsors get what they want. The voter gets worse off.

  • daniel joseph

    the good people of Mexico are living in fear and have no trust in government or police and for good reason. Hundreds of honest police, judges, and army members have lost their lives in this war. The US government owes them a complete support that they are not getting. The Mexican government can solve much of this by bringing back the death penality and applying it to kidnapping and murder for the first offense. Secret judges would have to hand down the sentences. But with so much of the Mexican government making good money from the cartels why would anyone in government want to do anything to hurt the cartel who makes them rich? People, please feel compassion, not anger, towards the Mexican people who have to live amid the horror every day. These people have marched in the streets by the hundreds of thousands against the cartel . The only answer here and there is to make the drugs legal but that wont happen again because of all the money being made there and here and all the people who have to have their high regardless of how many men, women and children are killed to get it to them.

  • joe
  • Jonathan

    There is NO WAY that this is merely some sort of terror campaign being conducted by Mexican criminals. The level of violence and outrageously bold crimes being committed against officials and leaders are simply not attributable to mere drug peddlers.

    This is something more. This is the Mexican versionof Al Qaeda or something. Someone is trying to topple the Mexican government, be they Marxists from FARC or Hugo Chavez or even China, or maybe an Islamic connection. But this is obviously something with evil intent toward the American homeland. To destabilize, to drain our economy, or as a base to launch attacks into the United States.

    I don’t know. But this is more than drugs.