Wednesday, January 2, 2013

FARC - In Mexico and Beyond

Not JUST in Colombia
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) and Coordinadora Continental Bolivariana (CCB) are stashing currency in Mexico these days. When you consider how many check points there are manned by the Federal Police, SEDENA, SEMAR and other Mexican State and Local Police entities that search diligently for such as currency, it would seem improbable, but it's true.

This is NOT money laundering. It's currency storage for contingency operations. Reliably, the FARC stash in Tijuana consists of $200 million in old US $100 bills (called Pequeños Franklin) The currency is buried in Pelican 1640 Cases  with dehumidification modules introduced before the cases were sealed air-tight. As I understand it CCB's currency stash in Northern Mexico is located in Ensenada and is no more than $30 million. Though I'm not completely confident of that number.

Once buried, they are exceptionally reluctant to touch the money because it represents flexibility in the future when times get bad. 2012 was not kind to FARC and most of their charismatic leadership was arrested or killed. However, when you understand how these things work in the real world, the organization persists in very much the same way as a cancer in remission.
Examples of this persistence can be found with the Arellano Felix Cartel, pronounced dead by AUSA Laura Duffy so that she could get the promotion to US Attorney-Southern District of California -- and they disbanded the AFO Task Force. It's just as bad as Presidente Calderon pronouncing La Familia Michoacan (LFM) Finished in 2011 -- and today they control Michoacan, Gurrero, Colima and much of Southern Jalisco (reorganized as Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT).
Future Leaders of FARC

While it is true that FARC is essentially a group of peasants who are not content with their treatment by the Colombian government, it doesn't mean that they are stupid nor that their children are stupid. Children are the future of the world and the bright and promising ones in FARC receive scholarships and travel to Ivy League schools in the US, elite schools in Europe and the better schools in Brazil and Mexico where they learn how to run businesses at the feet of the great and near great. 

Regus Office Building, Reforma, DF, Mexico
Guillermo León Sáenz Vargas (aka Alfonso Cano), killed in 2011, was an educated man and came to Marx and FARC from the University of Colombia. He was one of the most important men in FARC and when the Colombian Army killed him, President Juan Manuel Santos declared that it crippled FARC - maybe for good. While it's true that Sáenz had been killed, the seeds that he sewed internationally remain invisible to this day. 

FARC is not only peasants with AK-47's in the Colombian mountains. It (the seeds of Sáenz) sit behind mahogany desks in high-back leather chairs in high rise offices in Panama City, San Diego, Mexico City, New York and Rio, encased in glass. Their walls are graced with law and finance degrees from the finest learning institutions in the world. Sometimes they return to Colombia, having been "washed" internationally and with their credentials from Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Citi, and JP Morgan, they are seated at the top of Colombian government as decision makers.

These children of Sáenz may not share his Marxist fever, but they understand money and that is the underpinning of all governments, businesses and movements.

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