Dozens of citizens paid tribute to an alleged guerrilla ringleader who was killed by the army in northeastern Colombia on Tuesday.
National Army commander General Ricardo Gomez’ announced the death of the alleged bomb expert earlier in the day.
#FelizMartes. En efectiva acción ofensiva de las tropas de la #FTQuirón, @Ejercito_Div8 muere en desarrollo de operaciones militares alias el Grillo, cabecilla de explosivistas del Eln en Arauca https://t.co/o6AGSwTyhO pic.twitter.com/9YeP7lHvyN
— Mayor General Gómez (@COMANDANTE_EJC) March 13, 2018
Hours later, Radio Cravo Norte published video of a caravan of dozens of motorbikes following the car with ELN banner that drove the body of the alleged ringleader from the hospital to a funeral home.
— Radio Cravo Norte (@RadioCravoNorte) March 13, 2018
The tribute paid to the man accused of training local guerrillas to use landmines banned by international humanitarian law exposes the complicated relationship between locals in war-torn areas, illegal armed groups and national authorities.
After paramilitary warlord “Inglaterra” was killed by police in November last year, neighbors from Carepa in northwest Colombia also honored the paramilitary warlord’s memory.
“We respect the pain of the victims but we ask people to please understand our joy, what it means to go from living in a garbage dump to living in a decent home,” a community leader of the Pablo Escobar neighborhood in Medellin told BBC Mundo in 2013.
Former President Alvaro Uribe, a former Medellin Cartel associate, received more than 850,000 votes in legislative elections on Sunday despite ongoing investigations into his family’s role in the formation of death squads.
While accused of multiple war crimes, many of the former president’s supporters are grateful for a significant reduction in guerrilla violence that terrorized Colombia for decades.