|The report was published in Morroco's |
al Massae newspaper.
According to the report, the FARC pay a tax of 15% of the cocaine's value to al Qaeda of the Magreb in return for free passage across the Sahel region of north Africa. The story was published today in Morroco's al Massae newspaper, based on local police reports. Al Massae is not a leader in world journalism, and the Morrocan police are not Scotland Yard. However, it'd be difficult to believe that a FARC-al Qaeda link did not exist.
|The huge and barely governed Sahel region in north Africa.|
In the past, the FARC have cooperated with terrorist organizations such as the Irish Republican Army and ETA, the Basque separatist group. Why would they avoid al Qaeda?
The FARC will cooperate with anybody - and I suspect that nearly anybody, including legal International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity details how the minerals coltan and tungsten mined and trafficked by the FARC were allegedly sold to legitimate businesses, which used them to manufacture cellphones, computers and other electronics we all use every day.
|al Qaeda in the Magreb militants |
show off their weapons in the desert.
Barring effective law enforcement - a rarity in much of Africa and Latin America - illicit goods will flow to where they generate the most profit. For example, I've heard that Colombian cocaine trafficked thru Africa on its way to Europe is traded for blood diamonds, which are then smuggled back to South America.
The European Union's 'security strategy in the Sahel' calls the area "a crisis-shaken region where frontiers blur. Poverty and the fragility of state infrastructures have given free rein to parallel powers, militias, arms-runners and drug dealers."
In a situation like that, there's only one way to stop the FARC, al Qaeda and other outlaw groups from profiting from Colombian cocaine, and that is decriminalizing the drug so that instead legal (if not always law-abiding), tax paying companies buy and sell it.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours