30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Crime and Narcotics

May 16, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 16, 2018 – Incoming National Rifle Association President Oliver North’s conduct during the infamous Iran-Contra affair featured a pattern of deliberate deception, a willingness to cooperate with known drug dealers, and – according to some senior colleagues – flawed judgment, according to declassified documents and sworn testimony posted today by the National Security Archive.

Jun 15, 2017 | Blog Post
When gunmen shot and killed Mexican columnist, investigative reporter, and author Javier Valdez Cárdenas in Culiacán, Sinaloa on May 15, a chill went through newsrooms everywhere. Not only was he the sixth member of the press in Mexico to be assassinated in less than three months, some reporters had just assumed that someone of Valdez’s […]

May 18, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 18, 2017 – The National Security Archive’s Chiquita Papers collection represents key evidence behind a “communication” calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate officials from Chiquita Brands International for facilitating crimes against humanity committed by armed groups the company paid in Colombia.

May 2, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 2, 2017 – Chiquita’s Colombia-based staff questioned the company’s payments to illegal armed groups, and asked whether Chiquita had gone beyond extortion and was directly funding the activities of leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups, even while top company executives became “comfortable” with the idea.

Feb 23, 2015 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, February 23, 2015 –Documents posted for the first time — in a collaboration between the National Security Archive and VICE News — provide insight into the U.S. government's paradoxical and opportunistic relationship with arms dealer Sarkis Soghanalian, whose larger-than-life deals were so well known that he was an inspiration for Nicholas Cage's character Yuri Orlov in the 2005 film, Lord of War.

Nov 6, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013 – Four months before the feared Zetas drug cartel kidnapped and murdered 72 migrants in northeastern Mexico, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said that narcotrafficking organizations in that region operated with "near total impunity in the face of compromised local security forces." As the date of the massacre drew nearer, another U.S.

Apr 8, 2013 | News
Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013 – Chiquita Brands International last week filed a "reverse" Freedom of Information lawsuit to block the release of records to the National Security Archive on the company's illegal payments to Colombian terrorist groups, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Dec 21, 2012 | Briefing Book
Colombian Army "Facilitated" Paramilitary Operation at Miraflores "From Beginning to End" "Big-Time Narco" Carranza one of the "Best Known" Paramilitaries in Colombia but "Content to Operate Behind the Scenes" Washington, DC, December 21, 2012 – An individual using the reported alias of Colombian billionaire Vнctor Carranza Niсo “freely admitted” that “he and men under his command” were “responsible for the October 1997 Miraflores massacre” and that the Colombian Army “had facilitated the operation ‘from beginning to end,’” according to a formerly-Secret cable from the U.S.

Apr 7, 2011 | Briefing Book
Bogotб, Colombia, April 7, 2011 - Confidential internal memos from Chiquita Brands International reveal that the banana giant benefited from its payments to Colombian paramilitary and guerrilla groups, contradicting the company's 2007 plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors, which claimed that the company had never received "any actual security services or actual security equipment in exchange for the payments." Chiquita had characterized the payments as "extortion." These documents are among thousands that Chiquita turned over to the U.S.

Feb 17, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 17, 2008 - U.S. espionage operations targeting top Colombian government officials in 1993 provided key evidence linking the U.S.-Colombia task force charged with tracking down fugitive drug lord Pablo Escobar to one of Colombia's most notorious paramilitary chiefs, according to a new collection of declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive. The affair sparked a special CIA investigation into whether U.S. intelligence was shared with Colombian terrorists and narcotraffickers every bit as dangerous as Escobar himself.

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