Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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Press Releases

New Study on Ecuador's Growing Role with the FARC and Transnational Crime
My colleague at the International Assessment and Strategy Center Glenn Simpson and I just published a major new study on Ecuador's growing role as a sanctuary for the FARC and Mexican drug trafficking organizations and the regional implications of these developments.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is a member of the Hugo Chávez-led Bolivarian Revolution, and has had an extraordinary political trajectory. The Belgian and U.S.-educated economist is often said to be "Chávez Lite," because he has not implemented some of the more aggressively-authoritarian measures of the other Bolivarian states.

But, as we document in "Ecuador at Risk: Drugs, Thugs and Guerrillas and the Citizens' Revolution," the FARC in Colombia, having been cleared from the center of the country, are increasingly relying on the Ecuador-Colombia border as a vital resupply region. The camp of senior FARC commander Raúl Reyes, killed in a Colombian attack on March 1, 2008, was in Ecuadorean territory.

Now, the FARC and Mexican drug cartels use Ecuador as a neutral meeting ground, further developing ties that strengthen both groups. Major FARC cocaine laboratories, as well as R&R camps, remain on the Ecuadorean side of the border.

In addition, Correa has developed relationships with Iranian banks under U.S. and U.N. sanction, a move that will help allow Iran to avoid international financial sanctions.

This is the second paper in our series on the effects of the Bolivarian Revolution. The first one, "Into the Abyss: Bolivia Under Evo Morales and the MAS," can be found here.
The Downward Spiral in Latin America
The Consolidation of Bolivarian Authoritarianism and Terrorist Ties
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