By Kim R. Cragin, Bruce Hoffman
Identifies the assets and routes utilized by arm traffickers to shop for, promote, transfer,and send guns and the implication of small palms trafficking styles for U.S. coverage.
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Additional resources for Arms Trafficking and Colombia
However, as Chapter Four outlines, our research revealed a number of additional routes. 5“Colombia: Navy Seizes Farc Weapons Coming from El Salvador,” Paris AFP, January 4, 1999. S. 7 Again, as isolated incidents go, these examples do not appear to be that significant. However, when viewed from a cumulative perspective, they are troublesome. One or two trucks smuggling a few guns across Colombia’s border with Ecuador do not have strategic implications for the armed conflict in Colombia, but 5,000 trucks over the course of a year, each smuggling one or two guns, do.
As such, it is difficult from an analytical viewpoint to gauge the extent of the arms caches that are still in Central America and to then attribute the source of these stockpiles to either past transfers or contemporary transactions. , Klare and Andersen ) does indicate that Cold War–era shipments easily equate to tens of thousands of small arms and ammunition for those arms, and that those arms constitute an important component of Latin America’s black market. 12 Arms Trafficking and Colombia With the end of the conflict in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua during the 1990s, the United Nations and a few select European countries sponsored decommissioning and collection programs to remove small arms from open circulation in Central America.
Gray markets occupy the space between white-market activities and the illegal trade in small arms. In the gray market, a state may arrange for an arms transfer to an illegitimate actor for political or economic purposes, but conceal the transfer in legal channels. Black-market activities are completely illegal. These markets are more fully discussed in Chapter Five. Patterns of Small-Arms Trafficking into Colombia 23 Lebanon’s Hezbollah, also utilize this system. 17 Our focus here, though, is on black-market routes within Central America, which specifically feed into Colombia’s conflict.