THE USA DEPARTMENT OF STATE IS OFFERING A REWARD OF UP TO $5M for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Senior FARC Leader LUCIANO MARIN ARANGO.
ABOVE + BELOW – Luciano Marín Arango
Also known as “Ivan Marquez”
Date of Birth: 06/16/1955
Place of Birth: Florencia, Caqueta, Colombia
Height: 1.7 meters, Weight: Unknown
Eyes: Brown, Hair: Black
The FARC is a foreign terrorist organization in Colombia that was established in 1964 with a Marxist philosophy and the declared intent to overthrow the democratic Colombian government. The FARC is Latin America’s oldest, largest, most capable and best-equipped insurgency — with perhaps 12,000 fighters and thousands of supporters, mostly in rural areas. In addition to its attacks on Colombian military, political and economic targets, the FARC’s various fronts are deeply involved in narcotics trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, murder and other criminal activities. Today, the FARC controls the majority of cocaine manufacturing and distribution within Colombia, and is responsible for much of the world’s cocaine supply and what is trafficked to the United States.
Luciano MARIN ARANGO, also known as “Ivan Marquez” is a Secretariat Member and Advisor to the Northwestern and Caribbean Blocs. He oversaw loading of planes carrying 600-1200 kilograms of cocaine and the receipt of money and automatic weapons as payment. He set the FARC’s cocaine policies directing and controlling (i) the production, manufacture, and distribution of hundreds of tons of cocaine to the United States and the world; (ii) the “taxation” of the drug trade in Colombia to raise funds for the FARC; and, (iii) the murder of hundreds of people who violated or interfered with the FARC’s cocaine policies.
The U.S. Department of State is offering a REWARD OF UP TO $5 MILLION for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Luciano MARIN ARANGO.
Amid Colombia Peace Deal Shake-Up, 2ND FARC Leader Targeted
Following the explosive revelation of US drug charges against a guerrilla fighter turned politician in Colombia, another former rebel is reportedly under investigation by US authorities, potentially deepening demobilizing fighters’ concerns about a peace agreement that promised them judicial leniency.
According to an April 28 report from the Wall Street Journal, US and Colombian authorities are investigating alleged cocaine trafficking by a former top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), Luciano Marín Arango, who still uses his nom de guerre “Iván Márquez.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the investigation stems from a “cell phone video intercepted by investigators” in which Márquez allegedly “speaks to an associate of a known Mexican drug trafficker.”
The November 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC created a special justice system for dealing with crimes committed during the course of a half century of armed conflict. But the video was reportedly taken after the signing of a peace agreement, which would mean any criminal charges stemming from that evidence would be exempt from the provisions of the peace deal.
Contradicting the Wall Street Journal’s report, however, Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office responded on Twitter by denying that authorities in the South American country are investigating Márquez for post-agreement drug trafficking activities.
The former guerrilla leader was set to assume one of ten seats allotted to the FARC in congress as a means of providing the demobilized fighters with political representation. However, just days before the Wall Street Journal report was published, Márquez announced that he would not take the seat due to the April 9 arrest of another former FARC leader turned prospective congressman, Seuxis Paucis Hernández Solarte, who still uses the nom de guerre “Jesús Santrich.”
Santrich was arrested by Colombian authorities based on a US indictment for post-agreement drug trafficking charges. Márquez pointed to Santrich’s arrest as an example of the Colombian government not living up to promises made under the peace deal, which included not extraditing demobilized guerrillas.
“How can I try and become a senator when they’ll come and accuse me of being a drug trafficker?” he said.
In an tweet posted the same day the Wall Street Journal’s article was published, Márquez seemed to describe the reported investigation as the “last straw,” and said that those targeting him want to “take the peace process to hell.”
InSight Crime Analysis
It is unclear whether the reported investigation of Márquez will lead to any criminal charges against him. But it seems certain that the former guerrilla leader is rapidly losing faith in the Colombian government’s commitment to the peace deal. And that lack of confidence could spread to other demobilized fighters, encouraging them to join a significant number of their counterparts in abandoning the peace process and returning to criminal activities.
“If Márquez feels that the authorities are closing in on him with flimsy evidence, then he will return to the jungle and probably take a big faction of the FARC with him,” Adam Isacson, a senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) think tank, told InSight Crime.
Indeed, the FARC’s political leadership named Márquez the party’s political advisor, and according to Isacson, he has a lot of loyal followers among the FARC’s rank and file. The peace deal could be jeopardized further if Márquez and some of his closest followers decide to desert back into the jungle and reintegrate themselves back into criminal activities in the wake of the latest allegations, a dynamic authorities have already struggled to curtail.
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