Colombian Attorney General Néstor Martínez says that “very reliable” intelligence indicates that the Oliver Sinisterra Front, led by former FARC commander “El Guacho,” has become an arm of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
“This is a fairly recent development,” says Martinez. “Sinaloa gives Sinisterra greater resources to grow, process and transport illegal drugs. It also give it access to firearms and the ability to kill more people.”
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Sinaloa is the most powerful drug cartel in the world. Centered in Sinaloa state Mexico, the cartel controls much of the drug trafficking in Mexico and maintains shipping routes to the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Far East.
“The latest news makes Sinisterra a geopolitical problem that must be addressed by a number of countries, not just Colombia and Ecuador,” Martinez says.
The Sinisterra Front continues to insist that it is primarily a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary army and says that drug trafficking is only a funding mechanism. “Our main objective will always be improving the lives of the poor people of Colombia,” El Guacho said last year in an interview with a Venezuelan journalist. “We remain committed to the goals of the revolution that FARC has fought for for 30 years.”
Martinez scoffs at Guacho’s claim. “If he is helping the poor, why does he kill so many of them?” he asks.
Sinisterra admits responsibility for bombings in both Colombia and Ecuador as well as to the kidnapping and murder of three Ecuadorian journalists.
Since the murder of the journalists, April 12, Colombian and Ecuadorian police and military forces have captured dozens of suspected Sinisterra members, including three of Guacho’s top lieutenants.