Colombian Army captures five alleged members of FARC’s 53rd Front
By Dialogo September 05, 2014
Colombia’s National Police and the Army used military intelligence to locate and capture five suspected FARC terrorists, including two important alleged operatives, Armed Forces and law enforcement authorities said.
National Police agents and Army soldiers captured the suspected FARC operatives in early August. Security forces located and captured them in an indigenous reservation in Meta Department, 135 kilometers south of Bogotá.
The suspects were hiding in the indigenous reservation Ondas del Cafre, in the municipality of Mesetas-Meta, according to information obtained by military intelligence officers. Soldiers from the Air Infantry Battalion, 21st Pantano de Vargas Battalion, attached to the 7th Brigade, captured the five.
The suspects are allegedly part of the FARC’s Urias Rondón Front. Two of the suspects, a man known as “La Muerte” and a woman who is known as “Rosalía,” are important FARC operatives, military authorities said.
The suspects were hiding in the indigenous reservation Ondas del Cafre, in the municipality of Mesetas-Meta, according to information obtained by military intelligence officersThe successful operation was carried out by a coordinated effort which involved National Police agents; officers with the National Army’ Unified Action Groups for Personal Liberty (GAULA), which specializes in investigating kidnappings and preventing terrorists and criminals from taking hostages; and the Technical Investigation Team (CTI) of the Attorney General’s Office.
FARC operatives put indigenous population at risk: Army
By hiding on an indigenous reservation, the suspected FARC terrorists put “the indigenous population at risk,” the Army said in a statement. FARC operatives have used the tactic before, according to security analyst Daniel Mejía, director of the Research Center on Drugs and Security (CESED) at the University of the Andes.
“This tactic of hiding in indigenous populations is a strategy that the FARC have used as pressure by security forces increases against guerrilla groups,” Mejía said. “The FARC members tend to take refuge in the civilian population or in vulnerable communities such as the indigenous population. In these areas, the FARC essentially take shelter so that they cannot be captured by authorities easily.”
Security forces capture ‘La Muerte’
The capture of La Muerte is considered important because of the key strategic position he held within the FARC, authorities said. La Muerte was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the issued by the 68th Municipal Criminal Court of Bogotá.
La Muerte is suspected of being the top lieutenant of a FARC operative who is known as “El Zarco Aldinever,” who is the leader of the terrorist group’s 53rd Front. Authorities suspect the 53rd Front has launched terrorist attacks against civilians who oppose extortion payments in the municipalities of Mesetas, Lejanías, Granada, San Juan de Arama. Authorities believe the 53rd Front has also launched attacks against some merchants who have refused to pay extortion in the country’s capital.
The capture of La Muerte and the four other alleged FARC terrorists has “significantly weakened the manpower of this illegal structure, as well as the ability to raise money from extortion and coercion”, the Army said in a press release.
The arrests were made within the standards set by International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the Army said.
Capture of ‘Rosalía’ deals heavy blow to FARC finances
Before security forces captured her, Rosalía was in charge of collecting extortion payments for the FARC, authorities suspect. She often met extortion victims at the indigenous reservation, where she would collect the extortion payments.
“With the neutralization of this terrorist network, the logistics and financial capacity are fractured,” the Army said in a statement.
Because she is an important part of the FARC’s financial structure, the capture of Rosalía could deal a destabilizing blow to the FARC, according to Mejía.
“When an arrest is made against someone who manages the funds of important resources that the FARC operates with, instability is created in the system for financing these armed groups,” the security analyst said.
Security forces must remain vigilant, because such financial operatives are quickly replaced, Mejía said.
In addition to La Muerte and Rosalía, security forces captured three other suspected FARC terrorists.
The three suspects, all men, are known as “Eliberto,” “Ilder,” and “Robert.” They allegedly were members of the FARC’s Urias Rondón front.
In addition arresting the five suspects, security forces seized six Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and communications equipment.
Intimidation and drug trafficking by the FARC
The FARC has carried out a campaign of intimidation in the municipalities of Villavicencio, Granada and Cubarrai in recent months. FARC operatives seeking extortion payments have terrorized farm owners in these municipalities with grenade attacks, authorities in those regions said.
In early August, FARC operatives committed several grenade attacks over a period of 15 days, Colonel Carlos Alberto Meléndez, commander of the Meta Police told RCN Radio. The attacks did not kill or injure anyone, but they did cause property damage.
The FARC relies on criminal enterprises to finance its terrorist attacks, Mejía said. In addition to extortion, the FARC relies on funds generated by drug trafficking and illegal mining operations, according to the security analyst.
Truly, I would like to serve in the military
THESE ARE THE ONES WHO WILL ALWAYS BE TERRORISTS, MURDERERS, VIOLATORS OF HUMAN RIGHTS. THEY DON'T WANT PEACE, THEY WANT POWER BUT WON'T GET IT, THERE ARE SOME COUNTRIES THAT ARE REQUESTING THEIR EXTRADITION. WE ARE ALERT REGARDING THESE HOMELAND ASSASSINS WHO CALL THEMSELVES ARMY OF THE PEOPLE, AND FOR WHAT? IN ORDER TO MASSACRE THEM, THEY ARE THIRSTY FOR BLOOD. How is it they dialogue with the government for peace, no one believes this, not even themselves. Only Santos, who thinks he's negotiating with little angels; how is it that they continue to commit all kinds of human rights violations. Mr. President doesn't see this, or he pretends to be stupid. Wake up, we don't want the FARC to continue governing. I like that they're hitting them where it hurts the most -- their finances It's great that the military forces are watching out for our country. Just that I hope that none of the members of the armed forces switches sides. Art. Hugo Rodriguez was Just as they don't care, neither do I. Dead king, new king :P