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Colombian Military Forces Capture Leaders of FARC Dissident Faction

Colombian Military Forces Capture Leaders of FARC Dissident Faction

By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo
January 14, 2021

In mid-November, the Colombian Military Forces’ Joint Task Force Omega (FUTCO, in Spanish) captured three leaders of the Jorge Briceño Suárez narcoterrorist group, a dissident faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish). With the support of the National Police and the Office of the Attorney General, authorities carried out simultaneous operations in Guaviare, Meta, and Magdalena departments.

The detainees are Fernando Parra Montoya, alias Manchado or Tigre; Édison Gómez Zúñiga, alias William Zúñiga; and Juan Daniel Padilla Jiménez, alias El Costeño, the Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) reported in a press release.

“These three leaders have been in the organization for more than 10 years,” Colombian Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo said during a press conference. “They were in charge of collecting illegal taxes in a large part of Meta department’s southern municipalities, especially in La Macarena and Vista Hermosa.”

According to the CGFM, the detainees would also be responsible for committing targeted killings, terrorist attacks against the Public Force, and the forced displacement of civilians to the south of Meta department.

“These individuals are involved in the illegal recruitment of minors, including indigenous people […] from the Vista Hermosa and La Macarena municipalities, Meta,” Holmes Trujillo added.

From January 1 to November 29, 2020, FUTCO, which operates in Colombia’s southeastern departments, captured 40 members and neutralized the leader of the hitmen of the Jorge Briceño Suárez criminal group, the force told Diálogo. Service members also found and destroyed 113 labs for coca base paste production, three cocaine hydrochloride labs, and 119 seedbeds with coca plants. The force also seized 4,276 kilograms of coca base paste, 1,137 kg of cocaine hydrochloride, and 25,176 kg of coca leaf, as well as 76,185 kg of solid chemical precurors and 46,988 liters of liquid chemical precursors, among other results.