Illegal armed groups in Colombia make approximately $14 billion a year in drug trafficking and illegal mining activities, said the country’s top financial intelligence official Tuesday.
According to Luis Edmundo Suarez, director of the financial crimes unit FIAU money, Colombia’s drug trafficking groups launder some $10 billion annually, a figure corresponding to about 3% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The FIAU estimates that illegal mining generates around $4 billion annually for organizations like rebel group FARC and neo-paramilitary group Urabeños .
“These resources enter the Colombian economy and are washed in the same economy or through international mechanisms used by criminals for money laundering purposes,” said Suarez.
The official explained that illegal money enters the economy by two channels: through financial schemes or traditional cash-driven companies.