Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias ‘Alfonso Cano,’ will fall “in one way or another,” Colombian General Guillermo Suarez, in charge of the troops looking for Cano, said. In an interview with EFE, Suarez expressed determination to defeat the FARC leader.
“We are starting the game. The Task Force has only been in operation for four months, and this problem is 40 years old,” Suarez said. “Here we’re going to play as they play, that is, with time. For them time does not matter, so it will not matter for us either.”
Suarez, commander of the South Tolima Task Force, previously commanded anti-drug troops in the departments of Caqueta, Cauca and Nariño. He currently leads 7,500 soliders in a mountainous area of Tolima with altitudes between 3,200 and 4,200 meters, difficult weather, virtually without means of communication, and a very “well trained and very strong” enemy.
“The FARC were born here, so they know the area and the topography very well, as well as how to take advantage of the climatic conditions,” Suarez said. “These are the advantages they have over us.”
Suarez refers to his interactions with the FARC as a sophisticated game of chess, by which his troops have been able to take control of a strategic FARC corridor. The armed guerrilla group, according to radiography performed in the area, currently has a force of about 260 combatants.
“We have made important advances, but we must not be triumphant, rather realistic,” Suarez said.
“Alfonso Cano,” head of the FARC, has thus eluded capture. His death was falsely reported in July, but his current whereabouts are unknown. In April, 4,000 troops were assigned the sole task of locating “Cano.”