[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] Wednesday announced [DOJ press release] the indictment [text, PDF] of 50 leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) [official website, in Spanish; Wikipedia backgrounder], the country’s largest guerilla group, on narcotics and other charges. Noting that FARC produces half of the cocaine in the world and 60 percent of the US supply, the indictment accuses FARC of “threatening and killing local farmers, ordering members to kidnap and murder Colombian and US persons, and shooting down airplanes they believed were used for fumigation” of coca plants.
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] cited [speech text] the “unprecedented cooperation” between the Colombian and US governments, but he also stressed the presumption of innocence of the suspects. The US has spent over $3 billion since 2000 on measures to contain the drug trade from Colombia. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe [BBC profile], a staunch supporter of the US, has also increased efforts to reduce the exportation of cocaine and stymie FARC, which uses drug profits to finance its mission to overthrow the Colombian government. The US seeks extradition for three of the named suspects who have been apprehended in Colombia, while 47 remain at large. AP has more.