A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Development of Narco-Submarines


The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been one of the world's most consistently formidable violent non-state actors over the last forty years. Unsurprisingly, the group has provided one of the most compelling and concerning examples of the level of technical sophistication attainable by sub-state organizations. Over the last two decades the group has carried out an iterative and innovative process that, in reaction to improved detection capabilities, has brought them from depending on disposable go-fast boats to transport drugs to possessing fully submersible and reusable covert vessels for transportation. The following case study will discuss the development of narco-submarines and the underlying motivations behind the pursuit of this complex engineering task. The case study will outline the different phases of the narco-submarine development and highlight FARC’s determination to overcome the challenges present in each design. This discussion will show how FARC’s systematized acquiring of information and expertise has resulted in the accomplishment of fully submersible vessels, capable of transporting more than 10 tons of illicit product.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Jacome Jaramillo, Michelle. 2016. "The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Development of Narco-Submarines." Journal of Strategic Security 9 (March): 49-69. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol9/iss1/6/

START Author(s):

Additional Info

Research Area: