Twenty Years After Operation Colombia Against Casa Verde
Por Dialogo diciembre 23, 2010Outstanding writing. It is something that is a part of the history of the Colombian Army in the fight against nacro-terrorism, and it is yet another piece of evidence that the war against the Farc criminals did not begin during the Uribe era as they have wanted to tell us, but it has always been there. The Colombian forces are the best I Latin America for a reason. I knew many officials and sub-official that participated in the Colombian Operation against Farc in Casa Verde. What is written here is very accurate and gives you a very complete idea as to how things happened. Colonel Villamarin could write a spectacular book regarding this topic. I have read all of the books written by Colonel Villamarin, they are excellent. To all of the readers of this magazine I recommend they read both editions of El Cartel de las Farc (The Farc Cartel), la Selva Roja (the Red Jungle), Narcoterrorismo la guerra del nuevo siglo(Narcoterrorism, the war of the new century), ConexiÃ³n al Qaeda (Al Qaeda Connection), OperaciÃ³n Jaque (Operation Checkmate), La Silla VacÃa (The Empty Chair), El Eln por dentro(the ELN from within), Drama-Pesadilla y EspectÃ¡culo (Drama-Nightmare and Spectacle), and Complot contra Colombia (Complot versus Colombia). They are works filled with literary vitality and very serious content to analyze and it describes the chronic war communistic terrorism against Colombian society. The strategy for Operation Colombia was quietly designed by the officials of the armed and aerial forces to forcibly occupy the areas of the zone. The operation was postponed because there was no political backing to allow the army to occupy Casa Verde as this site afforded logistical and military support to the 15 FARC frontlines in the eastern plains. The halt sent advice to the government and obtained authorization to occupy Casa Verde. When the patrols arrived at the abandoned apartments, not a single rebel leader was captured as they had escaped in time and had left a rearguard of its special forces which confronted the army and took down 24 and brought down a helicopter. FARC had been alerted and this impeded complete success of the operation. The response by FARC for the capture of Casa Verde was violent: In one month they murdered 64 soldiers and police, they destroyed the oil line Limon Pipeline and many bridges. Behind the subversive attack, there was a seed of possible dialogue planted with the spokesperson of the Simon Bolivar force coordinator in Caracas, Venezuela where it was impossible to come to an agreement. The story of Col. Villamarin is successful and talks about the accounts in a clear manner with his witty writerâ€™s pen and operations specialist of counter-guerrillas, military intelligence, combining the arms race and writing. Miami, Dec. 24, 2010 CP)r.) Guillermo Vanegas Of course without acknowledging the bravery and the efforts made by the soldiers in that Operation Colombia and the knowledge about future deeds, I ask myself how would Colombia have been if in reality all of those wrongfully named Colombian fighters had been captured or killed in that big battle, of course there had to be some miserable infiltrator that alert about possible scrimmages and that is seen even today, twenty years later. It is good for us private citizens to know about operations and plans but I always say it is the means of communication and the lack of control of the superiors in the military forces, who ruin everything, there needs to be a major vigilance and discipline in order to avoid these things from happening. Even still, I say it is our forces through their great effort and sacrifice to protect our country and our citizenry. I wrote a comment about the excellent article by Colonel Villamarin, after 20 years since Operation Colombia, I am very surprised to find out that it wasnâ€™t published, the Comments are very important, the articles are assessed, you need to pay closer attention to the comments, all of the magazines nowadays have a comments page, this helps you to know the quality and quantity of readers. Attention editors and managers of the magazine, this is an oversight that should not exist in a military magazine! It is sad to see how the military is degraded by the chiefs of State and the general population, if they are the heroes of the country who have achieved and allow all to enjoy in the security of the country, but it is absurd to have troops subjected to continuous battles without winning the war, due to the interests of many that need to have continuous warfare, without caring if many innocent military lose their heads while they fight to keep order in the country. Now, in this case it is obvious to see the infiltration by freedom fighters in the government and from there the strategy for the plan of action for much of the urban and rural population in order to obtain their misdeeds as they have the majority of the population which many times is ignorant about the mundane and literacy and as such it is easy to fall into fundamentally poor political ideologies. Now bringing up said argument is the case of Santo Domingo where they accuse the Colombian Army of looting homes and public establishments and launching a bomb at the civil population, how is it possible for those of this jurisdiction to know for certain that is was the military troops that looted when itâ€™s human nature to save their lives, and moreover in the midst of fire and fighting. And who can say for certain that the people that were killed by the bomb (the majority of which were children) werenâ€™t freedom fighters, when we know that they recruit minors in their ranks, and many are their shields and many of us know that the cannon fodder in the middle combat, it is very difficult to know with the hypotheses from the human rights organizationsâ€™ requests when the world is full corrupt and bought-off witnesses in favor of the armed forces and not for those responsible.
Everything that helps to reveal FARC and its accomplices is positive and welcome. Even though it was one of the operations that broke the myth that the guerrilla force could not be attacked in its hideouts and more so in this one, which was the most important hideout, those of us heroes who participated in this complex operation have been forgotten, my name is Juan Carlos Moreno during that time period I participated as a volunteer soldier in the exclusive battalion of counter-guerrilla forces No. 07 HEROES DE ARAUCA. Our direct target was Casa Verde or the cadre school. I only hope that a small acknowledgment is made to the relatives of those who were wounded and those who died in this operation, today I am a non-commissioned officer in retirement with the rank of sergeant from the first extraordinary class of lance corporals. Colonel: Today's post should be read in schools and universities in order to prevent many dupes that fall into disinformation generated by farc press offices. Plus, the information from the computers of Reyes is generating in Europe an understanding of the defamation of the Colombian Government carried out by these offices. Yesterday, El PaÃs ran a feature story called *Eta's embassies * arc where it is revealed that, just like the the farc embassies,eta has a network of offices and NGO's that attack the Spanish Government saying that human rights have not been respected every time a blow is given to the terrorist group. The people here are beginning to understand the similarities and they can see their internal communications (e.g. the plot to blame the Government for the murder of 11 representatives). This is generating an empathy with the democratically elected Government that had not never been seen before. today we see with great surprise that nobody wants to know anything; the small-minded newspapers are not even trying to highlight the courage of these true heroes of the country. This writing is notable and very true. I live in Rego Park, New York. I am a Colombian architect and I have resent it to all my contacts, even in other countries so they can read it, be informed and broadcast to the world the reality of the evil those communists are causing us with and without weapons. On 9 December 1990, troops of the Seventh Brigade of the Colombian Army, commanded by Gen. Luis Humberto Correa, carried out the first great air and land operation against a narco-terrorist complex that served as the headquarters of the FARC Secretariat, known by the mythic name Casa Verde [Green House], in the Uribe-Meta rural area, in the southeastern foothills of the Páramo del Sumapaz.
In the words of Jacobo Arenas, the terrorist group’s founding ideologue, “Casa Verde was the symbol of the construction of a revolutionary movement providing guidance to communist guerrillas, as a stimulus to subversion in order to take power.”
Striking the FARC Secretariat at its headquarters was a matter of the greatest strategic importance for the National Army and of particular political significance for the country. In accordance with this line of thought, Operation Colombia was planned in detail, on the basis of testimony from FARC deserters, aerial photographs taken by the Air Force, meteorological analysis, and the selection of assault troops, land blockades, aerial tactical fire, and maneuvers directed at concrete objectives.
The air and land assault, following aerial tactical fire aimed at softening up the enemy’s position, was led by the Special Forces. The commandos descended on the chief objectives: Tirofijo’s house, Jacobo’s house, the lecture halls, the Cadre School, and the logistical stores.
The valor and gallantry of the Colombian soldiers were put to the test in this phase of combat, since they waged the most dramatic part of the battle against the detachments left in contact by the guerrilla chiefs, who, alerted by agents infiltrated into the national government, had warned them of Operation Colombia’s imminence.
Over the course of thirty years, the communist guerrillas of Juan de la Cruz Varela and then Tirofijo’s FARC had constructed an intricate system of trenches, observation posts, deployment points, and anti-aircraft machine gun and mortar nests, which naturally slowed the advance of the first wave of assault troops and made it necessary to request additional aerial support.
Once the fierce communist resistance of the first phase of the attack had been overcome, more infantry soldiers descended on predetermined secondary objectives and destroyed other components of the subversive complex hidden in the folds of the eastern mountain range, in sites of difficult access protected by sharpshooters.
The armed encounters and skirmishes lasted for fifteen days, until with very few casualties, whether dead, wounded, or evacuated for other reasons, the troops took complete control of the area. In addition to capturing and killing or wounding a number of terrorists, the troops seized abundant war matériel, headquarters communications, and copious documents of high value for Colombian military intelligence and law enforcement.
Once an inventory of the finds had been made, the documents seized by the troops revealed the majority of the FARC’s secrets at the time, summarized in guerrilla lectures, plenums, assistantship meetings, the terrorist group’s programmatic documents, and its strategic plan.
On the basis of the information obtained, the National Army realized the strategic importance of the Páramo del Sumapaz, and the departments of Meta, Guaviare, and Caquetá in the FARC’s thrust toward the capital of the republic, as well as the FARC’s growing financial dependence on drug trafficking.
As a result of these conclusions, the National Army created the first two mobile brigades with jurisdiction throughout the national territory, staffed by officers and non-commissioned officers with experience in rural counterterrorism operations, in order to engage in operations involving objectives of high strategic value related to narco-terrorism.
Also, the institutions of the Colombian state refocused the search for intelligence on the FARC’s urban and rural structures, acquired experience in deciphering messages encoded using numeric systems and alphanumeric keys previously unknown, different from those traditionally used by the ELN, generally using previously agreed pages of books, magazines, or other documents, or written with invisible ink on sheets of blank paper.
Specialists in technical intelligence acquired firsthand knowledge of tricks involving changing channels of communication, altering frequencies, flexible schedules, sending false counterintelligence messages, and internal radio communication systems used by the Secretariat and each platoon throughout the national territory.
The rural combat units learned more details about the logistical procedures, the systems of porters and the peasant liaisons for supplying the platoons in the areas of operations. As a consequence, the pressure against the fronts in each region increased.
The Colombian Army’s psychological operations units showed the importance of rapprochement with the civilian population, called “political education of the peasant base” by the terrorists, since it was the root of the structural strength of the Clandestine Communist Party and the Bolivarian militias integrated into its strategic plan.
In synthesis, Operation Colombia against the FARC Secretariat at Casa Verde was a watershed in the history of the war against communist terrorism in Colombia and resulted in significant strategic lessons about the use of special forces, field artillery, combat engineers, helicopter-borne operations, aerial tactical fire, combat intelligence, technical intelligence, document analysis, and psychological and logistical action in irregular operations.
The ongoing presence of Gen. Correa at the head of the troops in the combat area elevated the soldiers’ morale and their desire to fight and increased the efficiency of the frontline units. The complete logistical support from Bogotá by Gen. Manuel Murillo, the commander of the Army, reinforced the action and forced the FARC to abort the plans they had been secretly preparing at Casa Verde for the launch of a final offensive against Bogotá. This and much more was the fruit of the military incursion against the FARC’s chief stronghold on 9 December 1990.