HomeNewsBriefSon of FARC Leader Serving in Colombian Military
BRIEF

Son of FARC Leader Serving in Colombian Military

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012 BY TRACEY KNOTT EN

Authorities in Colombia have discovered that the son of a prominent guerrilla is enlisted in the country’s armed forces, creating a potentially grave breach of military security.

On June 26, Colombian authorities announced that the 18-year-old son of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leader Miguel Botache Santillana, aka “Gentil Duarte,” had been serving as a private in the Colombian army. The young soldier, who has not been identified, had been stationed in a battalion based in Yopal, the capital city of the eastern department of Casanare.

His father is the leader of the FARC’s 7th Front, which operates mainly in the central department of Meta. His mother is Astrid Conde Gutierrez, aka “Nancy,” also a FARC operative.

Authorities began to investigate the son following the capture of his guerrilla mother. She was recently detained outside of Bogota in connection to her work for the FARC. 

Officials are now investigating whether the son sent any key information to the guerrillas during his time with the army, as investigators discovered an exchange of text messages with Gutierrez that might reveal a sharing of intelligence.

It is not clear how long the guerrillas’ son had been serving in the army before the investigation began.

The private has been suspended pending further investigation.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although there have been cases of criminal syndicates infiltrating Colombian security forces in the past, there are fewer reported incidents involving the FARC. In 2007, then-Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos confirmed that drug trafficking groups and FARC members had infiltrated relatively high levels of the army. In the case of the guerrillas, their operatives were reported to work within the army intelligence, passing on information of army movements to their comrades.

The investigation of the guerrillas’ son indicates that this infiltration by the FARC has continued to some extent. However, it seems doubtful that such a young soldier would have access to critical intelligence, mitigating some fear of a complete breach of army security.

The greater concern involves the soldier’s ability to enter the army undetected, despite his close relationship to FARC leaders. This incident reveals the importance of proper screening methods for potential army recruits to prevent similar infiltration attempts.

Compartir icon icon icon

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

Related Content

FARC / 8 FEB 2012

Colombian naval forces seized more than 1.5 tons of cocaine thought to belong to the FARC and the Rastrojos in…

COLOMBIA / 26 JUL 2011

International Crisis Group has warned that illegal armed groups in Colombia will try to expand their power in upcoming local…

COLOMBIA / 5 OCT 2018

Rocked by government assaults, internal dissent and a leader publicly looking to abandon ship, the Urabeños are facing a dire…

About InSight Crime

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. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…