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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 05:25 AM EDT

Five Colombian FARC Guerrillas Captured in the Darién

Panama NewsThe five alleged Colombian narco terrorists were captured yesterday near Panama's border with Colombia were taken to Panama City today, officials said. The five South Americans, whose identities were not released, were taken from the Darien jungle by units of the State Border Service (Senafront) and are being held on orders of the Assistant Attorney General of the Public Ministry, according to the Press Secretary of the Presidency, Alfredo Prieto. The Colombians will be investigated to determine their alleged links with guerrilla organizations operating that operate in their country of origin. The Pacific Battalion of the National Border Service captured the "five suspected narco-terrorists" Wednesday at the Playa Fondeadero de Los Delgados in Jaque, in the Darién province, after firing on police units when they were ordered to halt, according to a released statement. The Colombians were located about 50 meters from the beach in a rudimentary camp, where officers found a gun with ammunition, cash, leaflets with symbols of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) and illicit substances, said Senafront. Local media point out FARC guerrillas have sought refuge for years in border towns of eastern Panama, where they go to flee the Colombian army.

Last March four suspected FARC guerrillas were detained by the Senafront on the beach of Isla Mono in the Darién. The four were arrested near the same area where in February this year there was an armed clash between units of the Naval Air Service of Panama and the crew of a speedboat full of suspected drug traffickers, which resulted in one officer wounded. On 27 January 2010 three suspected FARC guerrillas were killed in a clash with Senafront units and two others were captured during a patrol in the province of Darien, which borders Colombia. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: Thus far this year Panamanian law enforcement officers have clashed with Colombian FARC guerrillas about once per month. I think the increase in activity is a result of more aggressive patrolling on the part of the Panamanian units, who are now more capable of bringing the fight to the guerrillas. The FARC has used the Panamanian jungles of the Darién as an area to rest, hide, and heal for decades. And, for most of that time there has been a kind of uneasy agreement - the FARC doesn't screw with Panama too much, and Panama doesn't really go looking for them all that hard. But lately Panama has been getting more aggressive in patrolling the national territory. Historically the FARC doesn't come into Panama in the numbers that would allow them to do anything militarily significant - like take over one of those new counter drug bases and kill 100 police officers.

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