Narco border murders

The kidnapping and killing of two journalists and their driver has thrown up an uncomfortable truth for Colombia and Ecuador, analysts say: that their long-neglected border has become a drug traffickers’ nirvana

Published: 17th April 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2018 01:09 AM   |  A+A-

The kidnapping and killing of two journalists and their driver has thrown up an uncomfortable truth for Colombia and Ecuador, analysts say: that their long-neglected border has become a drug traffickers’ nirvana

Corridor of cocaine supply to US
The two governments sent troops into the dense jungle area to hunt for the killers and re-establish control over a region analysts say has become a key corridor for the supply of cocaine to the US. As part of a coordinated operation Bogota sent troops into the Tumaco area on the Colombian side of the border, known as the zone with the world’s highest density of coca-leaf plantations

Drug traffickers’ nirvana
The northwestern area is marked by dense jungle, crisscrossed by rivers, leading into the Pacific—an ideal launching pad for seaborne drug shipments and “transnational crime” under the influence of the Mexican drug cartels, Colombian military commander General Mauricio Zabala told AFP

Journalists kidnapped and killed
This is the fiefdom of the Oliver Sinisterra Front, which claimed responsibility for the kidnappings of journalists Javier Ortega, Paul Rivas and their driver Efrain Segarra. Its leader is Walter Patricio Artizala, better known by his nom-de-guerre Guacho, a former middle-ranking FARC commander known to operate on both sides of the border with about 80 men

The situation hasn’t been helped by glaringly contradictory statements coming from each government. The two governments even differ on the nationality of Guacho, the man they hold responsible for the murders. Each say he is the national of the other country

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