RIO DE JANEIRO – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group has established permanent bases inside Brazil, the Brazilian press reported over the weekend, citing a classified Federal Police report.
The intelligence document says the FARC is operating out of the Brazilian jungle, earning money through drug sales and obtaining equipment that is moved into Colombia, the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper said.
The FARC smuggles cash, equipment, fuel and the chemicals used to produce cocaine into Colombia, the newspaper said Sunday.
The intelligence report was produced following the arrest earlier this month of Jose Samuel Sanchez, a Colombian suspected of belonging to the FARC.
Sanchez was arrested along with seven Brazilians, who Federal Police investigators suspect had direct contact with the FARC and obtained drugs, arms and logistical support from the rebel group.
The Colombian had a base in the jungle near Manaus, a city in Amazonas state, where he had hidden a radio used to communicate with the FARC three times a day.
The FARC has crossed the border so it can operate “with more peace” and avoid clashes with the Colombian army, the intelligence report says.
The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, was founded in 1964, has an estimated 8,000 to 17,000 fighters and operates across a large swath of this Andean nation. EFE