Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” demobilized with the paramilitaries before forming successor group the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC), which bought drugs from the guerrillas and controlled large swathes of territory in eastern Colombia. He died during a security forces raid on a ranch in December 2010.
Cuchillo began his criminal career working with Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, alias “El Mejicano,” a leader of the Medellin Cartel who financed numerous paramilitary groups in the 1980s before he was killed in a 1989 shootout with Colombian police.
DOB: February 28, 1970
Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking, murder
Area of Operation: Eastern Plains, Colombia
Cuchillo later became a commander in the Centauros Bloc, an arm of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – AUC) that operated in the Eastern Plains. In addition to fighting the guerrillas, the Centauros had a major role in trafficking drugs in the region.
Following a dispute, Cuchillo and several others ambushed and killed their commander Jose Miguel Arroyave in 2004. Cuchillo demobilized as part of a peace process between the government and the AUC in 2006, but took up arms again not long after, renaming his group Heroes de Vichada, and later the ERPAC.
Cuchillo died when police raided a ranch where he was celebrating on Christmas Eve 2010, drowning in a river, drunk, as he tried to escape.
Cuchillo was heavily involved in paramilitary activity and drug trafficking, both with the AUC and ERPAC.
As a member of the AUC and ERPAC, Cuchillo was active in the Eastern Plains of Colombia, with ERPAC’s strongholds in the Meta, Guaviare, Vichada, and Casanare provinces.
Allies and Enemies
Fighting with the AUC, Cuchillo was enemies with the FARC, but would later turn to do business with the guerrilla’s and other paramilitaries after founding the ERPAC.
Cuchillo died in 2010 while fleeing from police. Members of his group, ERPAC, officially surrendered to the government in December 2011, but many members have carried on fighting in Colombia’s Eastern Plains.
- “‘Cuchillo,’ Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero,” Verdad Abierta, 29 December 2008.
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