U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, released the following statement on the arrests of individuals indicted for narco-trafficking and terrorism related offenses associated with Guinea-Bissau and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The arrests of these criminals, who have engaged in illicit activities in Guinea-Bissau and are connected with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), reminds us of the serious and multi-faceted nature of the threats we face both within our Hemisphere and throughout the world. The arrest of the former head of Guinea-Bissau's navy highlights the true intention of the FARC to use its international reach in an effort to circumvent U.S. efforts to counter its activities in the Hemisphere. This indictment is another reminder of the threat posed by the expansion of narco-terrorism as these criminals were attempting to corrupt officials in West African countries to promote their nefarious activities.
"Much attention has been given to the so-called "peace' talks between the Government of Colombia and the FARC but these latest indictments reaffirm that the FARC has no intention of stopping its trafficking of narcotics operation to support their illicit activities. According to the indictment, individuals are also being charged with conspiring to sell weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, which could be used against U.S. military personnel in the region.
"I commend the Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement officials for the arrest of these dangerous criminals. The FARC has for years been a disruptive obstacle to peace and a terrible menace to stability, not just in Colombia but throughout the Hemisphere, and it continues to prove itself a danger to U.S. and global security."