• Connect with us on Linkedin

Colombian Deploys 500 Troops as FARC Blockades Pacific

  • Written by Laura Gómez and Hannah Stone
  • Tuesday, 13 November 2012
The FARC have even banned water traffic in Choco province The FARC have even banned water traffic in Choco province

The Colombian government has sent nearly 500 extra troops to the Pacific province of Choco, where transit and business have been paralyzed by FARC rebels placing a ban on movement on the main roads and rivers.

Linkedin
Google +

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have threatened to attack anyone using the main roads or waterways in Choco, in an "armed strike" that started on November 8 and is set to run until November 17.

Following a November 13 emergency meeting of the heads of the armed forces and police in Choco, the government decided to send 120 soldiers and 360 navy personnel to the province. It also drastically raised the reward for information leading to the capture of alias "Chaverra" -- one of the leaders of the FARC's 34th Front -- from some $5,000 to $50,000, according to Caracol Radio.

InSight Crime Analysis

Local government officials also told Caracol Radio that the strike was backed by the Rastrojos gang, which is also active in the region. Though the FARC and the Rastrojos have had dealings with each other in Colombia's southwest, it is unlikely that this would extend to carrying out joint military actions. A recent InSight Crime trip to the region found no evidence of an "alliance" between the two groups, which were fighting with each other in some places even as they collaborated on cocaine shipments in others.

Choco is a highly strategic region for the FARC and new-generation drug gangs like the Rastrojos because it is an exit point for shipping illicit drugs via the Pacific. The FARC has launched a number of armed strikes in the province, most recently in March this year. In May 2011, the rebels detained 200 individuals in Choco during another such strike.

Despite the fact that peace talks with the government are currently underway, the FARC has continued its campaign of attacks in many areas of the country, including the bombing of a police station in Cauca province on November 11, which wounded 25 and has been attributed to the rebels. The group offered a ceasefire to the government while talks took place, but it was refused.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

Groups Ask International Criminal Court to Investigate Mexico Military Atrocities

Groups Ask International Criminal Court to Investigate Mexico Military Atrocities

Non-governmental organizations have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed by security forces in Mexico, underscoring the perceived impunity and brutality with which these officials have acted during Mexico's...

Read more

Co-Founder of Mexico's Zetas Leaves Prison

Co-Founder of Mexico's Zetas Leaves Prison

One of the founders of Mexico's Zetas cartel has been released from prison, raising the possibility that he could reassume control of the criminal organization, which has suffered a significant loss of leadership in recent...

Read more

Colombia's 'Green War' Reigniting with Death of Emerald Baron?

Colombia's 'Green War' Reigniting with Death of Emerald Baron?

The death of one of Colombia's most important emerald barons marks the end of an era of relative peace and could usher in another "Green War" as rival clans fight for control of the most...

Read more

Latest Criminal Profile