Eleven dissident FARC guerrillas were killed and two captured in the south of Colombia, the defense minister said on Monday.
The operation is the second alleged strike in a month against the group of former FARC mid-level commander “Rodrigo Cadete” that operates around the municipality of La Montañita, Caqueta.
“This is a very important blow: at dawn today, the Army Gaula, in an anti-extortion operation, neutralized 13 members of that Residual Armed Group that attracts fronts 7, 3 and 14,'” Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas told BLU Radio.
Members of the 7th Front had refused to take part in the peace process with the FARC that began in 2016. They were joined by Cadete last year and subsequently attempted to assert control over the Putumayo and Caqueta provinces.
The group had reportedly been making threats against the mayor of Florencia as well as the local energy company in the region.
“The criminals had been demanding extortion payments from businesses” in Florencia and its surrounding area, the army said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the dissident unit is also responsible for drug trafficking to Venezuela and Brazil in a region that has long been abandoned by the Colombian state.
According to the military, some 1,200 former FARC members joined dissident groups like the 7th Front. The most important of these groups are active in major coca-growing regions in the southwest and south of Colombia