A U.S. grand jury has indicted the seven top leaders and forty-three commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, on charges of running a drug trafficking network responsible for sixty percent of the cocaine on U.S. streets. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said it is the largest narcotics trafficking indictment in U.S. history and that the FARC leaders, if captured, would face possible extradition to the United States.
The Colombian terrorist group known as FARC is the world's largest supplier of cocaine. Using its estimated eighteen-thousand-member guerrilla force, FARC leadership has attacked and disrupted Colombia's coca-eradication efforts. FARC has killed local farmers, kidnapped and murdered Colombian and U.S. citizens, and shot down aircraft used for fumigation of illicit narcotics crops.
Mr. Gonzalez said the indictment of the FARC leaders is an important step in bringing them to justice:
"We believe these men are responsible for not only manufacturing and exporting devastating amounts of cocaine, but enforcing their criminal regime with violence. For instance, the indictment alleges that farmers who did not comply with FARC rules were shot, stabbed, and even dismembered alive."
Andres Pastrana, the Colombian ambassador to the United States, says that many Colombians have died in the war against drug traffickers:
"Thousands of innocent citizens, journalists, judges, politicians, soldiers, and police officers, have given their lives to this cause. Money from international narco-trafficking fuels all violent groups in my country. Colombia has been and remains deeply committed to defeating the drug trade."
The indictment of the FARC leadership, said U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, provides hope that both narco-violence in Colombia and the tide of illegal drugs entering the United States can be stemmed.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.