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Police Operation Against Cuchillo

COLOMBIA / 30 DEC 2010 BY JEREMY MCDERMOTT EN

This video from the Colombian National Police shows operation codenamed "Diamond," which was designed to kill or capture Pedro Guerrero Castillo, alias "Cuchillo."

"Diamond" was launched on Christmas Eve, with 200 police commandos attacking a farmhouse in a rural area of Mapiripan, Meta, in the Eastern Plains of Colombia. There they ran into resistance from Guerrero's criminal group, the Popular Revolutionary Antiterrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC).

Two policemen were killed in a gun battle that lasted 20 minutes along with one ERPAC bodyguard. There were seven arrests, among them the ERPAC second-in-command, Harold Humberto Rojas, alias "El Loco Harold." Cuchillo managed to escape but according to the police fell into a river and drowned. His body was recovered several days later.

The questions now are who will succeed Guerrero and will the ERPAC, an organization that has as many as 1,200 armed soldiers at the ready and is one of the country's principal drug trafficking organizations, remain intact.

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