Colombia Tightens the Net Around FARC Dissidents
By Yolima Dussán/Diálogo April 12, 2021
Colombian authorities jolted dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) between March 1-3, 2021. Operations on those dates resulted in the neutralization of 10 people and the capture of four others, as well as the disruption of an illegal road these dissidents had built.
On March 3, the Office of the Attorney General said in a statement that, after flyovers by the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish), authorities identified a clandestine corridor more than 30 kilometers long, connecting Puerto Flores and the Inírida River, in Guaviare department.
“The corridor was built in an Amazon reserve area, in the vicinity of the Nukak Makú indigenous reservation, a community that has special constitutional protection and is endangered both physically and culturally,” Infobae reported on March 3.
Dissident groups under the leadership of alias Gentil Duarte used that corridor to move chemical supplies and other items necessary to process narcotics, Deicy Jaramillo, deputy prosecutor of the Attorney General’s Office, told the press. “There is also evidence that they are building settlements near the highway to give an appearance of legality in the area,” Jaramillo said. The previous day, on March 2, Colombian Minister of Defense Diego Molano reported the result of an air-and-land FAC attack against another FARC dissident group, this time in the municipality of Calamar, also in Guaviare department.
“In a joint operation, we neutralized 13 members of alias Gentil Duarte, from the FARC dissidence,” said the official, who reported the death of 10 men and the capture of three others. “They are responsible for recruiting minors, attacking our public forces, kidnapping, and illegal mineral extraction. We are hot on Gentil Duarte’s heels,” Molano said.
On March 1, the FAC reported the capture of alias Carlos or Rana Platanera, the leader of a criminal FARC dissident group, in an operation in Río Blanco municipality, Tolima department. The Colombian Military Forces’ General Command added that in this operation, service members rescued a minor that the criminals had recruited in December 2020. Authorities helped the minor reunite with her family.