HomeNewsBriefDuque Doubles Down on Colombia’s FARC Dissidents After Call to Arms
BRIEF

Duque Doubles Down on Colombia’s FARC Dissidents After Call to Arms

COLOMBIA / 5 SEP 2019 BY MARIA ALEJANDRA NAVARRETE FORERO EN

A military operation that killed 14 dissident FARC fighters just a day after three former top guerrilla commanders announced a return to arms seems to hint at the way the Duque administration in Colombia will confront this threat.

The dissident fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — FARC) were killed in a rural area of the municipality of San Vicente del Caguán in southern Caquetá department, President Iván Duque announced August 30.

One of those killed was alias “Gildardo Cucho,” whom Duque identified as a top drug trafficker and dissident leader in Caquetá. However, he was virtually unknown prior to this security operation.

A day earlier, a group of former guerrillas led by Luciano Marín Arango, alias “Iván Márquez,” Seuxis Pausías Hernández, alias “Jesús Santrich,” and Hernán Darío Vélez Saldarriaga, alias “El Paisa,” announced a return to armed struggle via a video published on YouTube.

After more than 50 years of armed conflict, all three had been key figures in a process that culminated with the historic signing of a peace agreement between the FARC rebels and Colombian government in 2016.

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profile

General Luis Fernando Navarro, the head of the Colombian armed forces, said the bombing in San Vicente del Caguán is just the first of several planned attacks.

“There will be more bombings, all the capabilities we have to defend Colombians will be available,” Navarro said at a press conference shortly after President Duque’s announcement, as reported by El Heraldo.

The commander of the Colombian Army, General Nicasio Martínez, added that this new threat from the ex-FARC mafia will be confronted by a specialized unit. The force will have increased intelligence and judicial capacities, and will be supported at the national level as they pursue the main leaders of this new structure.

InSight Crime Analysis

The speed with which this operation was carried out makes it likely that this was an attempt by the Duque administration to show quick results. But the use of an airstrike of this magnitude and the declarations of high-ranking military officials hint at the possible future of the fight against dissident FARC fighters in Colombia.

In less than 24 hours, the Colombian government issued new arrest warrants for Márquez, Santrich and El Paisa. In addition, a high reward was offered for information on their whereabouts. Members of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz — JEP), one of the institutions responsible for implementing the peace agreement signed between the government and the FARC, are also moving forward with plans to expel the three former fighters from the process.

SEE ALSO: Major Implications of Former FARC Leadership Returning to War

Although this is not the first bombing that has been carried out against dissident FARC fighters on Duque’s watch, the high number of casualties makes clear the lengths the government are willing to go in order to neutralize this new fighting force. It also remains unclear whether Gildardo Cucho truly had any links to Márquez’s organization 

Furthermore, the potential dangers for the civilian population that come with this type of offensive, as well as the questionable effectiveness of such a strategy in the face of the growing consolidation of FARC dissidents, has not yet been explored. 

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.

Related Content

COLECTIVOS / 22 MAR 2019

The ELN, Colombia’s last rebel army, has engaged in exponential growth over the last four years, both in Colombia and…

COLOMBIA / 10 AUG 2016

Officials from Colombia and Venezuela forged ahead with new bilateral mechanisms targeting transnational organized crime and prepared to reopen their…

COLOMBIA / 1 MAR 2016

Authorities have arrested a drug boss who went from stable boy for the Medellín Cartel to carving out a criminal…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …