Narco fugitives caught trying to co-opt Colombia peace deal

From the Washington PostBOGOTA, Colombia — For years Edison Prado was one of the top U.S. drug targets in South America, having allegedly risen from beginnings as a boatman running drugs in the treacherous coastal waters of his native Ecuador to the bloodthirsty head of a small army of smugglers spread across five countries.

So it came as something of a shock when the man dubbed the high-living Pablo Escobar of Ecuador showed up on a list of hardscrabble leftist rebels from Colombia.

His case and others like it are now at the center of a heated debate about whether powerful drug capos and other criminals are trying to evade justice by exploiting terms of the government’s peace treaty with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — allegations that threaten to undermine already-shaky efforts to end a half-century of political violence.

Under the terms of last year’s peace deal, FARC rebels will be spared jail time in exchange for laying down their weapons and confessing their war crimes to special peace tribunals. For thousands of one-time FARC members serving long sentences, that’s tantamount to a get-out-of-jail card. …



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Latest Tweets by @IASecurity

Videos Featuring Our Experts

Kingpins and corruption: Targeting transnational organized crime in the Americas Roger Noriega on the Crisis in Venezuela: The world's response | IN 60 SECONDS

Venezuelan crisis: A brief history by Roger Noriega | IN 60 SECONDS


During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform policymakers and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.