Drugs, Diamonds, Minerals, People: Smugging Through Open Borders Is the Life Blood of Rebellions

Here is a table (one of many) from an interesting retrospective dataset on how insurgencies are financed. The really successful insurgencies have a good economic base. This list is obviously incomplete but is a good sampling. The line between organzied crime and rebellion is also very thin. The closer a group is to the wealthy metropoles, the more likely the rebel group is to be an organized crime syndicate moving drugs and people (both migrants and slaves) through the open borders of the First World.

Walsh, James Igoe; Conrad, Justin M.; Whitaker, Beth Elise; Hudak, Katelin M. “Funding Rebellion: The Rebel Contraband Dataset: Table”, in Journal of Peace Research, September 2018. p. 705.

Afghanistan: Hizb-i-Islami: opium smuggling.
Afghanistan: Jamiyyat-i-Islami-yi Afghanistan: extortion, gemstones.
Afghanistan: Taliban: smuggling (opium and timber), extortion.
Angola: UNITA: extortion (diamonds).
Burma/Myanmar: Karens (Karen National Union (KNU)): extortion (timber, lead), smuggling (timber).
Cambodia: Khmer Rouge: extortion and smuggling (timber, gemstones).
Colombia: FARC: extortion (coca, gold, coffee, oil, coltan); smuggling (coca).
Colombia: ELN: extortion (coca, gold, oil, coltan); smuggling (coca).
Democratic Republic of Congo: Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD): booty futures (rebels sell rights to resource exploitation) (gold, tin); extortion (coltan, diamonds, gold, timber); theft (cassiterite, coltan).
Democratic Republic of Congo: Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL): booty futures (rebels sell rights to resource exploitation) (cobalt, copper, diamonds, zinc); extortion (gold, diamonds); smuggling (cobalt, timber).
India: Northeast Rebels: United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA): extortion (tea, oil).
India: Northeast Rebels: National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) (Songbijit): extortion (tea).
India: Northeast Rebels: Dima Halam Daoga (DHD-DW): extortion (tea).
India: Northeast Rebels: Garo National Liberation Front (GNLA): extortion (coal).
India: Northeast Rebels: Peoples War Group (PWG): extortion (cannabis, timber).
India: Northeast Rebels: (CPI-Maoist) [Communist Party of India-Maoist]: extortion (agriculture, cannabis, coal, iron, timber, opium); smuggling (opium).
India: Northeast Rebels: People United Liberation Front (PULF): extortion (tea).
India: Northeast Rebels: All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF): extortion (tea).
India: Northeast Rebels: National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT): extortion (tea).
India: Northeast Rebels: National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM (NSCN-IM): extortion (timber), smuggling (opium, timber).
India-Kashmir: Kashmir: smuggling (cannabis, opium).
Indonesia: Free Aceh Movement (GAM): extortion (cannabis, oil).
Liberia: National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL): extortion (iron, rubber, timber); smuggling (diamonds, gold, timber).
Peru: Sendero Luminoso: extortion (coca); smuggling (coca).
Senegal: Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MDFC): extortion (agriculture, cannabis, charcoal, timber); theft (livestock, agriculture).
Sierra Leone: Revolutionary United Forces (RUF): extortion (agriculture, coffee, cocoa, diamonds, opium, agriculture).
Sierra Leone: Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC): extortion (diamonds).
Turkey: Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK): extortion (cannabis, opium); smuggling (cannabis, coca, opium).