Colombia’s defense ministry claimed Wednesday that security forces have killed eight dissident FARC guerrillas and arrested three more near the border with Ecuador.
The alleged guerrillas of the FARC’s dissident 7th Front were killed in the southern Putumayo province in a military operation in which both the air force and the national army took part.
Members of the 7th Front have refused to take part in the peace process with the FARC that began in 2016. The small group has tried to maintain control over southern Putumayo and local criminal rackets under the command of dissident FARC commander “Rodrigo Cadete.”
“Among those who were neutralized is ‘Cachorro,’ the second in command and the right-hand man of Cadete,” the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
Cadete took part in the peace process until September 2017 after months of criticism about government failures to comply with the peace agreement closed with the decades-old guerrilla organization.
The 7th Front separated from the FARC in 2016 already.
According to the ministry, the dissident unit is responsible for drug trafficking to Venezuela and Brazil. The group is active 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.