The FARC have suffered a weekend of setbacks as several commanders have been killed or detained by Colombia’s National Forces.
Seven alleged FARC members perished in combat against the army’s sixth division in the southern department of Caqueta on Sunday 10, among them two high-level leaders of the FARC’s 15th squadron, El Espectador reports.
One of the commanders, alias “Colacho,” had spent 20 years in the FARC and during that time had formed part of the security for secretariat member Milton de Jesus Toncel, alias “Joaquin Gomez,” as well as being a supposed confidante of former Southern Bloc leader Jose Benito Cabrera, alias “Fabian Ramirez,” who is now presumed dead.
Authorities also killed alias “Diomedez,” a FARC member for 24 years who was apparently one of the kidnappers of former Colombian-French presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and until his death was chief financial officer of the 15th squadron.
Elsewhere, in the southwest department of Valle del Cauca, a joint operation between the army and Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS resulted in the capture of Carlos Mario Cardona, alias “El Paisa,” who was responsible for the finances of the Alonso Cortes squadron.
After terrorizing the local population for over 15 years through extortions, intimidation, murder and the installation of minefields, the army stated that his arrest signals a heavy blow against the FARC in that region of the country, reports El Espectador.
The latest news comes after two further FARC ringleaders were detained Sunday, completing a weekend of setbacks for the FARC. The most recent captures mean that 26 alleged FARC members have now been caught in the month of April.