HomeColombiaVictor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias 'Mono Jojoy'
COLOMBIA

Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias 'Mono Jojoy'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / LATEST UPDATE 2017-03-10 00:05:16 EN

Until his death in September 2010, Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias "Mono Jojoy," was the top military commander of Colombian rebel group the FARC, head of the feared Eastern Bloc and a member of the rebel's top command, the Secretariat. 

In many circles, he was considered the guerrillas' number two and was respected within the organization for his military strategies and prowess. As Eastern Bloc commander, Mono Jojoy was responsible for the activities of four FARC mini-blocs that operate in the Eastern Plains of Colombia. His death left a giant void for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

History

Mono Jojoy joined the FARC at age 12. He worked his way up to be squad leader and later a company commander. His fearless approach caught the eye of the guerrillas' top commander, Pedro Marin, alias "Manuel Marulanda" or "Tirofijo," who became his tutor and was responsible for his meteoric rise through the ranks.

Mono Jojoy later created a school to train special units who use Vietnam-style tactics. He is also recognized for participating in several important attacks on military bases in the southern and eastern parts of Colombia during the mid-1990s, which changed the face of the Colombian war. For a time, he even tried "liberate" zones, a tactic famously used by rebels from El Salvador's FMLN, albeit unsuccessfully. 

Mono Jojoy Factbox

DOB:  February 5, 1953

Group: FARC

Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion

Status: Killed in September 2010

Area of Operation: Colombia’s Eastern Plains Region

Criminal Activities

Mono Jojoy was at the center of the FARC's drug trafficking activities. In addition to lording over much of the country's coca production, many FARC fronts under Mono Jojoy's command created their own drug distribution networks in Venezuela and Brazil. Colombian authorities believe he was also in charge of the group's hostages and kidnapping businesses, and he stood accused of ordering the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt and three US contractors in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

At the time of his death there were 62 arrest warrants against the rebel leader in Colombia. Among the charges were drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, rebellion and terrorism, and forced recruitment of children. He was also implicated in the 2003 bombing of El Nogal, a posh social and sports club in Bogota, which left 36 people dead and another 100 injured. The US government had requested his extradition to face charges of drug trafficking and murder.

Geography

Mono Jojoy commanded the FARC's Eastern Bloc, which operates in the Eastern Plains region of Colombia near the border with Venezuela.  

Allies and Enemies

The FARC have alliances with both the National Liberation Army (ELN) and criminal groups known as BACRIM (from the Spanish for "criminal bands"). The FARC have engaged in joint military operations with the ELN and some FARC fronts collaborate with BACRIM in the drug trade.

Prospects

Mono Jojoy suffered from diabetes, leading to his constant search for insulin, a factor that helped authorities locate and bomb his encampment in September 2010.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 19 FEB 2021

A special tribunal has stated the number of victims connected to Colombia’s false positives scandal is almost three times higher…

COLOMBIA / 26 NOV 2021

Alerts of the mass displacement of ex-combatants in Meta, due to the deteriorating security situation in the department, warn of…

AUC / 30 AUG 2021

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the pioneer in industrial-scale cocaine trafficking.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…