Colombian security forces score with “Sword of Honor”
By Dialogo March 22, 2012
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Thirty-three guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) died and five were apprehended in a police-military operation during the early morning hours on March 21 in the western department of Arauca, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón told reporters during a press conference.
The raid was part of the operation “Sword of Honor,” the government’s plan to end terrorism nationwide, Pinzón added.
“This is a direct attack on their logistics and their operating capacity,” Pinzón said. “This is, without a doubt, one of the hardest strikes we’ve had in the past five years.”
Among the terrorists taken into custody was Juan Vicente Carvajal, who was second in command of the FARC’s 10th front and is sought for extradition by the United States, where he’ll face narco-trafficking charges.
President Juan Manuel Santos hailed the success of the operation, which came a week after FARC terrorists killed 11 soldiers in the same area.
“It’s a huge blow against the FARC in Arauca where they killed our soldiers,” he tweeted.
Military troops seized 24 rifles and several machine guns, mortars, ammunition and other types of firearms during the raid.
“Young people enlisted in the guerrillas should know that they still [have] the possibility to leave,” Pinzón said. “But if they insist on being part of that terrorist organization, they should rest assured that the only thing they will find is the blunt response of public forces, acting tirelessly 24-7, 365 days a year.”
Three other rebels were killed in Arauca on March 21 and four were captured in separate confrontations with the army, Pinzón said, without offering more details.
- Eduardo L. Hooker contributed to this piece.