25 de Sep de 2022

Nacional

Panama’s FARC links confirmed

PANAMA. A year ago the Cuban-American Juan Cecilio Padron was kidnapped from a Panama City high-rise.

PANAMA. A year ago the Cuban-American Juan Cecilio Padron was kidnapped from a Panama City high-rise.

Back then, reports to which La Estrella obtained access said that the incident was carried out by FARC (Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces) members.

Government authorities were never clear on the matter, yet earlier this week events in Colombia confirmed the guerrilla group’s activities in the country.

The Colombian army recently captured Luis Orovio Lobon, aka “Mello,” in a house in Aguablanca, Cali. “Mello” has been accused of Padron’s kidnapping.

He is also allegedly linked to Diego Rendon, alias “Don Mario,” one of the biggest drug traffickers in Colombia, captured only last week.

Colombian police forces said that they retrieved evidence proving that from Panama, “Mello” was involved with drug and arms trafficking through the Panama-Colombia border.

“Mello” was captured in police operations searching for Jorge Briceño Suarez, alias “Mono Jojoy,” the most feared of the FARC commanders.

During the operations, a series of notebooks with annotations by someone in charge of keeping in touch with “Mono Jojoy” were found.

The information inside the notebooks shows that the armed group had at least one man in Panama to carry out drug trafficking, money laundering, and arms dealing activities.

The notes refer to a possible gun purchase in Panama. “Mono Jojoy”’s contact writes of an offer to sell 1,000 guns, and of a guarantor who would pay with his life if he did not properly fulfill his duty.

Concerns about the trade followed, with questions such as “How much coca or crystal do we need to give per gun?”.. “Where will they keep our guarantor?”.. “Owners of the guns represent the State, mafia group, or what?” scribbled on the papers.

Colombian intelligence authorities consider that the notes reveal that Panama, because of its strategic geographic position, its financial facilities, and its positive commercial growth and development, continues being a key country from which the FARC can manage and hide some of its illegal activities.

These activities are carried out by front men, mostly Colombians living in the country and with thorough knowledge of the border region in Darien.