HomeNewsColombian Armed Forces Continue Purge of Ex-FARC Mafia Leaders
NEWS

Colombian Armed Forces Continue Purge of Ex-FARC Mafia Leaders

COLOMBIA / 14 JUN 2022 BY LARA LOAIZA EN

One month after the death of Gentil Duarte, the Colombian army has killed two more important dissident leaders, in the north and the west of the country, further curtailing the ex-FARC Mafia's capacity to coordinate its factions.

On June 13, President Iván Duque announced via Twitter the death of Leider Johnay Noscué Bototo, alias “Mayimbú,” in an army operation in the western department of Cauca. Mayimbú was the leader of a dissident faction of the now-defunct FARC guerrilla, also known as the ex-FARC Mafia, called the Jaime Martínez Mobile Column.

In 2018, the Jaime Martínez Mobile Column had expanded rapidly into crucial coca and marijuana production areas in the northern part of Cauca department and neighboring Valle del Cauca. Mayimbú's leading position made him a high-value target for the Colombian government. He was blamed for the 2019 murder of Karina García, a mayoral candidate for the municipality of Suárez, and for a wave of violence against Indigenous leaders in the region.

Noscué cooperated with Miguel Botache Santanilla, alias "Gentil Duarte," and several other dissidents in the area. In January 2022, Mayimbú assumed the Cauca leadership of the confederation of FARC dissidents allied with Gentil Duarte, following the death of Duarte's previous envoy, Euclides España Caicedo, alias "Jhonier," in Toribío, Cauca.

SEE ALSO: The Fall of Gentil Duarte – What Does It Mean for Colombia?

However, the ex-FARC Mafia have suffered other major blows of late. Three days before Mayimbú's death, the leader of the dissident 36th Front, Ricardo Abel Ayala Orrego, alias “Cabuyo,” was killed in a military operation in Barbosa, Antioquia.

With a presence in northern Antioquia, the 36th Front of the ex-FARC Mafia maintained control of several drug trafficking and illegal mining routes in the department. In 2018, security forces accused Cabuyo of the murder of three geologists from the Canadian multinational Continental Gold in Yarumal, landing him on authorities’ radar.

Cabuyo survived several military operations against him, including a bomb attack in 2018 and a sniper attack in 2021, in which he was wounded.

InSight Crime Analysis

Mayimbú’s death represents a serious blow to the faction of FARC dissidents, once led by Gentil Duarte, and which once vowed to reunite these disparate groups into one fighting force. The death of Cabuyo only adds to their woes as well as threatening to weaken their hold on the department of Antioquia.

With Mayimbu’s death, the ex-FARC Mafia have lost a key player who coordinate financial support and drug shipments with dissidents across the country. His death will not make it easy for Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias “Iván Mordisco," another old-time FARC leader, who assumed control of the network after Duarte’s death in Venezuela.

Mayimbú was in charge of numerous ex-FARC Mafia fronts, especially after Duarte's death. These included the Jaime Martínez and Dagoberto Ramos Mobile Columns in northern Cauca and Valle del Cauca, the Carlos Patiño Front in southern Cauca, the Franco Benavidez Mobile Column in northern Nariño, and the Rafael Aguilera Front along Cauca's Pacific coast.

His death not only raises questions about who will assume command of the faction, but also questions Mordisco's ability to lead the dissidents at the national level. Cauca is a strategic territory for the ex-FARC mafia, as the cultivation of creepy marijuana is concentrated there, as well as a coveted drug trafficking route via the Pacific Ocean to Central America.

SEE ALSO: The Criminal Portfolio of the Ex-FARC Mafia

To the north, FARC dissidents in Antioquia have been stuck between a rock and a hard place. Constant operations by the Colombian Army have reduced its capacity in the region. This has put the 36th Front on the back foot in its ongoing war against the Urabeños, also known as the Gulf Clan (Clan del Golfo).

Now, with Cabuyo’s death, the 36th Front may not have the strength to continue its war against the Urabeños. However, there is still a presence by Erlinson Chavarría Escobar, alias "Ramiro," the leader of the 18th Front, in the territory. The 18th Front is allied with the Second Marquetalia, which is also locked in a conflict with the Urabeños.

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.

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

EX-FARC MAFIA / 22 APR 2021

Reports by the Venezuelan government of landmines in Apure state, demonstrate the recent expansion of a warfare tactic used by…

COCA / 17 MAR 2021

The US State Department’s annual drug control strategy report calls for Colombia to restart the aerial eradication of coca crops,…

COLOMBIA / 11 JAN 2022

The 10th Front of the FARC dissidence isn’t letting up. After simultaneously heading off multiple enemies on Venezuelan soil, the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.