Al Qaeda in South America

The FBI and CIA suspect Al Qaeda of having links with areas in South America where there is a high incidence of Islamic population.

The Brazilian newspaper “O Globo” has quoted sources from the CIA, FBI and the Brazilian ACI (Agencia Central de Inteligencia) which claim that the Al Qaeda network in South America is concentrated in the cities of Foz do Iguacu (Brazil), Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) and Cuidad del Este (Paraguay), due to the fact that these have a great number of immigrants from the Middle East and that 30% of profits generated by firms in these cities goes to Moslem charitable causes.

Columbia is another country where there are areas of high Islamic concentration and these agencies believe that Al Qaeda has an operational network in Maicao, where 70% of local commerce is controlled by the Islamic community. The same source quotes Al Qaeda involvement in drugs trafficking from South America.

However, there is a fallacy in the argument because, as has been pointed out before, the real money from drugs trafficking is made within the USA. The growers at source receive enough money from the coca crop to feed their families. The mark-up begins after the coca has crossed the frontier into the USA, where it is transformed, marketed and sold as the illegal drug, cocaine.

That Al Qaeda is involved in heroin trafficking, is a different question. However, the Taleban have recently been targeting heroin growers in Afghanistan, causing a dramatic downturn in the exports of the opium crop. This would point towards a difference between Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and its Taleban hosts regarding policy on narcotics.

The fact that Columbia was mentioned is a clear sign that the USA is planning to renew conflict with FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, a Marxist-Leninist force fighting for civil rights within Columbia and which recently signed a peace agreement with the government of Andres Pestrana, backed financially and militarily by the USA.

Trying to link FARC with the root causes behind drugs trafficking, and now to Al Qaeda, are excuses to maintain effective political control over Columbia. The same is the case for the accusation that Al Qaeda is involved in the border region between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Brazilian Justice Minister Jose Grigori claims that he has no knowledge of Al Qaeda activity in Brazil.

Moreover, the Brazilian Ambassador in Assuncion, Paraguay, Luis de Castro Neves, said that there may be criminal activity on the frontier, but not terrorism. “There may be criminal activity, economic and commercial irregularities, but not terrorism”, he said in a joint press conference with Paraguayan chancellor Jose Moreno, who confirmed that “to date, there is no sign of terrorism” in the area.

A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Assuncion declared that the USA is worried about the presence of terrorists in Paraguay, but failed to produce any evidence. The Brazilian Ambassador to Paraguay stated that the three countries had the necessary conditions to perform a proper control of the frontier area.

The USA has had a historical problem with understanding South America, a playground where it exports its terrorist activities as its financial institutions bleed the starving populations dry, while its political structures support oppressive and fascist regimes who have a horrendous human rights record, like the USA itself.


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