At least 26 people suspected of collaborating with the FARC were arrested in a joint operation by forces of the Colombian army, police and air force, local media reported Tuesday.
The majority of the arrests took place in the department of Cauca in southwestern Colombia, where operations started on June 9 and were followed by a raid in the northeastern department of Arauca near the Venezuelan border.
The operations were coordinated by the Inspector General’s Office, which is currently investigating officials, leaders of indigenous minorities and Afro-Colombians suspected of having ties with guerrilla groups.
The 26 people who were captured are among the 120 officials and community leaders for whom the Inspector General’s Office has issued arrest warrants for alleged links with the FARC.
Among those arrested are Neisair Ramos and Felix Manuel Banguero, former secretaries of government and culture in the municipality of Guachené in the Cauca department.
Mayor of Guachené Fransisco José Paz claimed the investigation was “a confrontational attack against his administration.”
The mayor said that while his government is being accused of allying with groups outside the law,it is busy serving the state. Paz said his administration is willing to defend itself against slander and insults, according to local media.