Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera confirmed the capture of the rebel, who was the second-in-command of the FARC’s 36th Front. El Pajaro is accused of the crimes of conspiracy, rebellion and forced displacement in the Anori municipality of Antioquia.
The surrender took place early Tuesday morning at a military base of the Army’s 14th Brigade. El Pajaro’s submission comes after he was injured during an aerial offensive in the region on Saturday, security forces stated.
The Colombian army has been pursuing El Pajaro for months, offering a reward of $53,100 (COP100 million) for information on his whereabouts.
This capture represents a huge blow to the FARC in the region. The 36th Front is instrumental in the financing of operations in Colombia’s northwest through its illegal mining and extortion tactics.
In late January of this year, the front was responsible for the forced exodus of more than 5,000 people from 38 villages for the purpose of illicit cultivation and illegal mining operations. El Pajaro is thought to have been one of the main organizers of this displacement.
The security forces are continuing the hunt for the leader of the 36th Front, alias “Olmedo”, and are offering a reward of $106,200 (COP200million) for information leading to an arrest.