Colombian Navy Weakens FARC Dissidents
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo August 09, 2021
In early July, the Colombian Navy dealt a blow to the Carolina Ramírez front, a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish), the naval institution reported in a statement. During a joint operation with the Army, the Air Force, the National Police, and the Office of the Attorney General, Navy units captured two of the main leaders of this criminal group, while three other members turned themselves in.
Alias Norma, who authorities captured during a raid on her home in the municipality of Cartagena de Chairá, Caquetá department, is allegedly in charge of communications and criminal activities in this department, the Navy reported. At the same time, in the streets of Rovira municipality, Tolima department, security forces captured alias Chepe when he was in a public establishment. Alias Chepe is allegedly responsible, within the criminal group, for verifying the entire process of the narcotrafficking chain, from financing to transporting drugs in the region, the Navy said.
Both detainees had arrest warrants for the crimes of extortion, murder, aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime for terrorist purposes, and narcotrafficking.
The Carolina Ramírez front is a substructure of a FARC dissident group that operates under alias Iván Mordisco in Colombia’s southern departments. According to the Colombian magazine Semana, one of the groups under Iván Mordisco’s leadership is allegedly responsible for the attack against Colombian President Iván Duque in late June.
“In the so-called narcotrafficking chain, this group has the role of providing security for drug transport, in addition to being one of the groups with the greatest influence in promoting illicit crops and coca base paste production in Putumayo and Caquetá departments,” Colombian Navy Rear Admiral Harry Ernesto Reyna Niño, commander of the Southern Naval Force, told Diálogo.
According to Navy intelligence, the Carolina Ramírez front is fighting for control of narcotrafficking routes against the Comandos de Frontera front, which has increased the forced recruitment of children and teenagers in their area of influence. In this operation, authorities rescued a minor who was handed over to the Caquetá Police for Children and Adolescents, the Navy reported.
“The Putumayo, San Miguel, Caquetá, Yarí, Caguán, and Amazon rivers have become the riverine highways most sought after by criminal organizations, considering that, due to the lack of passable routes to the neighboring countries of Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, they are the fastest way to transport illicit substances,” Rear Adm. Reyna said.
From January 1 to July 23, 2021, in its jurisdiction (Caquetá, Guaviare, Meta, Putumayo, and Amazonas departments), the Southern Naval Force captured four leaders and 86 members of criminal groups, seized more than 2.5 tons of cocaine and more than 3 tons of cocaine base paste, and destroyed 222 drug labs, among other achievements.