President Juan Manuel Santos said the FARC’s 37th Front was dismantled after eight guerrillas were killed in a military operation, reported local media Thursday.
“There remained a stronghold that had five to 15 bandits still in this front. I have knowledge that the blow we gave resulted in the death of eight [guerrillas] with three captured. That means that their structure was practically dismantled,” said Santos in a statement to the press. Initial reports indicated that nine FARC members were killed.
Santos recalled the 37th Front’s historically strong presence in northern Colombia, once controlling large amounts of land. Recent military pressure forced the unit to retreat deeper south while their numbers dwindled.
Among the dead were the commander of the front, Luis Enrique Benitez Cañola alias “Silvio” or “El Frances.”