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SecurityScholar Synopsis

Direccin de Antinarcticos (DIRAN; Colombia) Compaa Jungla Antinarcticos (JUNGLA)

The Jungla Commandos are Colombias premier national counter-narcotics (CN) interdiction unit. Falling under the Direccin de Antinarcticos (DIRAN) of the Polica Nacional de Colombia (PNC), the Junglas were formed from 120 men in 1989, with training from the British Special Air Service (SAS). Training is now supported by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and US Army Special Forces. The DEA has a specialised jungle group based out of Colombia that operates with the Junglas, the Narco-Terrorism/Jungle Operations Group. DEA agents embed with the Junglas during HVT capture and interdiction missions, as well as training. Funding comes primarily from the US State Departments Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Aairs (INL) and the Narcotic Aairs Section (NAS) at the US Embassy in Bogot. The Junglas are tasked with CN interdiction, targeting processing labs, trackers, narcotics caches, and stockpiles of precursor chemicals. Additionally, the Junglas often conduct raids aimed at capturing High-Value Targets (HVTs), including narco-terrorists from such groups as the FARC, ELN, and ERPAC. There are approximately 600 active duty Junglas, divided into three companies, based in Santa Marta, Bogot, and Tulua. There are also 40 members of the Special Reconnaissance Team (SRT), tasked with high risk operations, based in Bogot. CNP units, the DEA, and the Military Group at the US Embassy in Bogot, develop intel packets on HCl labs and HVTs for the unit. Members of the Judicial Police accompany the Junglas on all operations. The Junglas specialise in destroying jungle laboratories used for cocaine production. So far this year, DIRAN has been responsible for destroying 813 coca base production facilities, and 100 HCl labs. This US State Department cable from October 2009 gives a snapshot of how eective the Junglas can be. In the month covered, the Junglas performed a number of airmobile assaults, killing or capturing several wanted HVTs. Amongst these was a most-wanted FARC criminal, Herier Triana (AKA Patamala). In early 2010, the Junglas captured Deiver Luis Durn Caicedo, leader of the BACRIM group Los Urabeos. A 2008 State Department cable notes that The high degree of self-reliance and superb Jungla training regimen make the Junglas one of the Embassy's most eective and nationalized programs... the many Jungla contributions to antinarcotics eorts, both in Colombia and on the international scene, demonstrate the high return that this sustained USG investment continues to yield. It is clear that the Junglas are extremely successful, certainly the most successful CN unit currently operating in Latin America.

N.R. Jenzen-Jones 17 November 2011

Read More
1. Security Scholar article - Run Through The Jungle: Colombias JUNGLA commandos 2. US DoS INL - INL End Use Monitoring Report 2006 3. SSI- LESSONS LEARNED FROM USG LAW ENFORCEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS 4. Colombian National Police- DIRAN Operations Results 5. US GAO Report - PLAN COLOMBIA - October 2008 6. SWAT Magazine - White Powder War, by Je Randall