By Kim R. Cragin, Bruce Hoffman
Identifies the resources and routes utilized by arm traffickers to shop for, promote, transfer,and send guns and the implication of small hands trafficking styles for U.S. coverage.
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Additional resources for Arms Trafficking and Colombia
2. 38“General Tapias on Puerto Lleras Attack,” Semana, July 11, 1999. 39“Militares Venezolanos Entrenaron Al Eln,” El Tiempo, March 29, 2001. 40Author interviews, Argentina, January 2000, and Bogotá, June 2000. 41“Army Reports Heavy Child Involvement in Guerrilla War,” El País, December 27, 2000. 30 Arms Trafficking and Colombia FARC has also raided Brazilian Federal Police posts in the Amazon region, stealing weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies. 48 Although FARC and the AUC do not have to purchase weapons for its fighters annually, these numbers do indicate that both groups (especially the AUC) are nonetheless spending a considerable amount of money for weapons and ammunition each year.
12 Arms Trafficking and Colombia With the end of the conflict in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua during the 1990s, the United Nations and a few select European countries sponsored decommissioning and collection programs to remove small arms from open circulation in Central America. 1 lists the number of weapons collected via these initiatives and compares those numbers with the number of combatants per country. 27 The information in the table supports our contention that thousands, or even tens of thousands, of weapons likely remain in caches throughout Central America.
When transported by land, arms from Coquira or Quimbo travel south to Meteti where they are placed on small riverboats, which eventually transport the weapons to a FARC base west of Cerro Bell. 68 These land routes (within Panama) combine with the maritime trafficking from other Central American countries (into Panama), making Panama the single largest route for arms trafficking into Colombia. Finally, smugglers utilize the dense Amazon along Colombia’s border with Brazil to transport weapons into the country via ground routes.
Arms Trafficking and Colombia by Kim R. Cragin, Bruce Hoffman