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‘Oliver Solarte’, Responsible for Drug Trafficking in the FARC’s Southern Bloc, Is Killed

By Dialogo
March 17, 2011

On 15 March, President Juan Manuel Santos announced that in an operation carried out the previous day in San Miguel (Putumayo) by the Armed Forces, alias ‘Oliver Solarte,’ suspected by the authorities of being the FARC’s liaison with the Mexican cartels, was killed.

“He was a very important person within the FARC. He was the counterpart of ‘Negro Acacio’ [‘Black Acacio’] in the Southern Bloc. He handled all the drug trafficking and arms trafficking for the FARC’s Southern Bloc. He was between the Central Command and the Secretariat and was responsible exclusively to the Secretariat,” the head of state revealed in statements to the press from the Casa de Nariño, the presidential residence.

The president also said that the slain guerrilla was the point of contact with the Mexican cartels and the Norte del Valle cartel, for drug trafficking and obtaining financing for the terrorist group.

Alias ‘Oliver Solarte’ was a militia leader in the FARC’s Front 48 and had been sought by the authorities for a long time.

Santos Calderón characterized the operation as “a very significant blow,” not only for the impeccable way it was carried out, but also because “it was a coordinated operation by all forces: intelligence from the police, the Navy, the Army, and the operation was also a joint operation.”

President Santos warned those who persist in their allegiance to the FARC that the Armed Forces will not let down their guard and that there are more operations underway.

“I want to say to them once again that if they continue as they are, they’re going to fall one after the other, because we’re not going to let down our guard here, and we have our eye on many more of them,” the president indicated.

For his part, the commandant-general of the Armed Forces, Adm. Édgar Cely, explained that the operation took place on Monday, 14 March, at 11:30 in the morning, in the area of the El Azul trail, in the municipality of San Miguel (Putumayo).

“At that location, in addition to the death of this drug-trafficking terrorist, some administrative and communications materials, six grenades, several chargers, and eleven cell phones were seized,” the commander affirmed.

The slain guerrilla was a member of the FARC for twenty years, was the subject of an extradition request from the United States on drug-trafficking charges, and had three arrest warrants pending against him for terrorism, kidnapping for ransom, rebellion, aggravated homicide, aggravated robbery, and property damage.