Is the ELN Taking Over Colombia’s Enduring Heroin Trade? By Tristan Clavel - InSight Crime
Reports have emerged that guerrilla group the ELN has taken control of the heroin business in the south of Colombia, which, if confirmed, would represent a huge shift in trafficking patterns for this diminished but enduring trade.
Colombia’s anti-narcotics police believe heroin trafficking in the southwestern department of Nariño is now controlled by the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN), reported El Tiempo. Their principal target is Rodrigo Yepes Mejía, alias “Gustavo” or “HH,” commander of 200-strong Southern Comuneros Front (Comuneros del Sur).
Police sources told El Tiempo the ELN buys up local poppy production, which they process into heroin in laboratories the rebels have set up in isolated rural areas.
Colombia’s police are now working with their Ecuadorean counterparts to combat the trade in this border region…