Venezuela, a bridge of drug trafficking, also becomes a producer Due to the links that exist between the Colombian narcoguerrilla, installed in the country, and the cartel of the Suns, integrated by the top of the FANB.
CORRESPONSAL IN CARACAS Updated:22/09/2019 02:38h
The former oil exporter Venezuela has become an emerging power in illicit drug production and processing, thanks to the regime of Nicolas Maduro, who has given control of the territory to the Colombian narco-guerrilla, the FARC and the ELN, who operate freely in the Caribbean country.
The complaint was made to ABC by the director of FundaREDES, Javier Tarazona, a Venezuelan NGO that deals with human rights and education, whose concern for the serious expansion of irregular armed groups has led him to make a campaign of alerts in Europe and Latin America to the IACHR of the OAS, the UN and the International Criminal Court.
"What worries me is the indifference of institutions both in Venezuela and Colombia in the fight against drug trafficking, which has allowed in a certain way the expansion of irregular criminal groups," Tarazona told ABC after his visit to the Bogotá Attorney General's Office, where he consigned maps and documented evidence of the presence of the FARC and ELN in the Bolivarian country.
The presence of the Colombian narco-guerrilla is located in 17 of Venezuela's 23 states. "The worst thing is that FARC leaders like Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich, among others, operate from the Miraflores palace, the top of power in Caracas, which protects and finances them, and treats them as ministers with escorts," Tarazona said.
A total of 28 irregular armed groups, both national and foreign, cohabit in the country, but the leaders of Colombian gangs, eight guerrilla fronts in the so-called alliance between the ELN and the FARC, have expanded their drug trafficking to the Venezuelan coasts from the east to the Dutch islands, Curacao and Aruba, and the east to the Caribbean off the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
The Suns cartel
Venezuela is not only a bridge for the illicit export of cocaine from Colombia, but it now cultivates, produces and processes narcotics, in "incipient but important quantities" due to the links that exist between the narcoguerrilla and the Soles cartel, integrated by the military leadership of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB)," he adds.
The FARC and the ELN are the first employer on the border. "We see it in the states of Táchira, Zulia, Apure, Barinas, Falcón, Aragua, Sucre, where they have expropriated or confiscated farms and cattle ranches. Since Venezuelan labor is cheap and they pay in dollars, then they have a captive labor market for their illicit operations," he says.
The drug gangs "have 228,294 weapons that have been declared missing in the battalions of the Bolivarian army that would be in the hands of the Colombian narco-guerrilla," Tarazona says.
In addition to drug trafficking, these weapons are also used in other new activities entrusted to them by the regime, such as the exploitation of the Arco Minero in the Orinoco, Bolivar state, southern Venezuela, where they protect large concessions of gold, coltan and diamond deposits from Chinese, Russian, Palestinian and Turkish contractors.
"These armed groups are bloodthirsty and decapitate those who betray them or steal materials. We have registered 1,200 disappearances in 2018 and so far this year the previous figure has doubled," he adds, mentioning that the indigenous populations of Bolívar and the Amazon are the most affected.
He said the Colombian narco-guerrilla controls five radio stations in its border area of influence. It also has social power. "Maduro's regime has given the distribution of food bags CLAP (Local Administration and Production Committee) to the Chavistas registered with their national identity card.
Through its foundation, Tarazona receives data on the criminal activities of the FARC and ELN from the Venezuelan officers and soldiers themselves under anonymity who do not agree with their illegal operations in the country. "We have them well detected. Many have deserted the ranks of the army and have gone over to the side of Juan Guaidó, interim president of Venezuela and president of the National Assembly, who has all the necessary information.
Asked about the Guaicaipuro operation that Maduro has deployed this week in Táchira with a contingent of 3,000 armed men on the border, Tarazona said it was just a show to distract attention from the real conflict that is the penetration of the Colombian narco-guerrilla in Venezuela, now a powerhouse of drug cultivation.
Faced with the reduction in oil production and the loss of its income as the main source of foreign exchange, the Soles cartel has resorted to drug trafficking managed by the FARC and the ELN as its alternative source of income but at a bloody social cost that would compete with the Mexican and Central American cartels.
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