The latest of Cano’s security ringleaders to die was Alirio Rojas Bocanegra, nicknamed “El Abuelo,” who was killed in combat on Thursday. He is the tenth commander close to Cano to be killed or captured by Colombian military forces in less than a year, El Tiempo said.
Alirio Bocanegra was the chief of security for Cano and the replacement for Arquímedes Muñoz, alias “Jeronimo Galeano,” who was killed in March.
Another significant loss for Cano this year was the death of Magaly Grannobles, alias “Marleney Rondon,” El Tiempo said. Grannobles worked as the head of the “Heroes of Maquetalla,” a mobile guerrilla group also responsible for the security of Cano.
Another “heavy blow” to the FARC’s training and operations center was suffered after the killing of “Dario,” or “El Toro.” Dario was the head of Hernan Murillo Toro, a school responsible for training leaders and middle managers of the FARC.
Other important members of the FARC have been captured alive this year: Rigoberto Zuluaga, nickname “El Paisa” and leader of the guerrilla column “17 Angelino Godoy,” Ciro Gómez Rayo, nickname “Enrique Zúñiga” and leader of the guerrilla column “50 de las Farc,” y Holman William Calderón Gómez, nickname “Chicharrón” and leader of the guerrilla column “Jacobo Prias Alape.”
President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian military believe that these deaths and captures of FARC commanders mark an important step towards the capture of Cano: “For every leader they put into power, we take one out,” said Santos Sunday
Cano took control of Colombia’s largest and oldest rebel group in 2008 when FARC founder Manuel Marulanda died. The Colombian army has been trying to capture or kill Cano intensively since the rebel leader assumed power.