An alleged member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group was arrested in the Ecuadorean border province of Sucumbíos (in northeastern Ecuador) on May 7, the head of the general staff of the Ecuadorean Army’s 4th Division, Colonel Arturo Coral, announced to the local press.
The arrest of the man, identified as Wilson Tapiero Tique (alias “Dumar” or “Trincho”) and allegedly responsible for the finances of the FARC’s Southern Bloc, took place in the sector of the town of General Farfán, in the jurisdiction of Sucumbíos (on the border with the Colombian department of Putumayo), he specified.
The Ecuadorean press initially indicated that Tapiero Tique was believed to be the head of logistics for the FARC’s Front 48, which operates in the border strip.
The man arrested “is believed to be a fundamental element of Colombia’s illegal armed groups,” Coral declared, noting that he is wanted there for alleged acts of terrorism and drug trafficking.
The officer added that the alleged insurgent, who was arrested together with six other individuals under investigation in Ecuador, will be turned over to the Colombian authorities on May 8.
The arrest took place following more than a year of intelligence work that included Colombian cooperation, according to reports in the Ecuadorean press.
Two weeks ago, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa did not rule out the possibility that the FARC might maintain bases in his country’s border territory, and he said that the country was ready to repress any infiltration.
“I can’t guarantee to you that there might not be FARC infiltration,” the president told the Gama TV television network, which questioned him about the possible presence of rebel camps, and added that, if that happened, the Armed Forces would impose “respect” for national “sovereignty.”
“We’re going to take them prisoner; we’re not going to murder them, if possible. In the case of self-defense, our Soldiers will have to respond,” he declared.