Authorities in Colombia’s southwestern department of Cauca have asked the national government for military reinforcements fearing further retaliation by guerrilla group FARC after the killing of the rebels’ leader, “Alfonso Cano.”
Cauca Governor Guillermo Gonzales told Caracol Radio that important guerrilla leaders are still thought to be inside his department. According to the governor, it is these FARC commanders who ordered the attacks on the towns of Jambalo and Piendamo in which one policeman and one civilian were killed.
The ombudsman of the Suarez municipality where Cano was killed said several guerrilla units are highly active and he also fears retaliation.
Following the death of Cano, “there is a retreat of the guerrillas protecting this objective, and of the army that met its goal,” said Ombudsman Jose Denis Balanta, warning that the remaining guerrilla units remain.
“We have the FARC’s 6th Front, the Jacobo Arenas column and the mobile Alirio Buitrago column which supports the others,” Balanta told the radio station.
The departmental government declared a red alert following this weekend’s attacks on Jambalo and Piendamo. “It is a secret to nobody that Cauca is waiting strong retaliations for the death of the guerrilla group’s supreme leader,” Government Secretary Alvaro Grijalva Gomez told Cali newspaper El Pais.
The department has been suffering an increased amount of deadly FARC attacks for months and was granted 1,200 more troops by Santos in September.
According to Caracol, following the weekend attacks there were guerrilla offensives registered against the town of Caldono on Monday.