HomeNewsBriefMayor in Colombian Guerrilla Stronghold has Brother in FARC
BRIEF

Mayor in Colombian Guerrilla Stronghold has Brother in FARC

COLOMBIA / 5 DEC 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The mayor-elect of a town in Colombia's guerrilla heartland reportedly has a brother fighting with the FARC rebels.

In an interview with El Tiempo, Mayor-elect Domingo Emilio Perez Cuellar said that he has had no contact with his brother, one of his 12 siblings, for 10 years.

Perez is a member of the leftist Polo Democratico, Colombia's only opposition party. He was elected mayor in San Vicente del Caguan, Caqueta. This municipality was the core of a demilitarized zone handed over to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during the 1999-2002 peace talks.

During InSight Crime's visit to Caqueta in July 2011, officials identified three FARC fronts and a mobile column operating in the department. Perez's brother, whom El Tiempo identifies as Fidel Perez, alias "El Grillo," was not named as a top leader in any of these units.

The 14th, 15th and 49th Fronts are all active in Caqueta. One of the FARC's most powerful units, the Teofilo Forero Mobile Column, is also active in San Vicente de Caguan. The column was behind the kidnapping of three Chinese oil workers and their translator in June. It is also one of the most aggressive collectors of extortion payments from oil company subcontractors.

The FARC's strength in Caqueta explains why Perez's election in San Vicente del Caguan could make some military and businesses interests nervous. Perez has never been charged with links to the FARC.

According to El Tiempo, the mayor-elect's father was a member of the Patriotic Union (UP), a party founded by the FARC and the Colombian Communist Party in 1984.

A brother of the FARC's recently slain commander, Guillermo Leon Saenz, alias "Alfonso Cano," currently serves as a council member in Bogota.

See InSight Crime's map of FARC units in Caqueta.

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.

Tags

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

BOLIVIA / 1 JAN 2015

Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world in terms of homicides and 2015 is unlikely to see…

COLOMBIA / 14 SEP 2016

Colombia's ELN rebel group is reportedly moving in on territory abandoned by the FARC guerrillas as part of their peace…

COLOMBIA / 14 MAR 2013

Colombian police captured the alleged head of a local drug distribution network in the country's coffee region, as the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…