Colombia’s government is offering a $551,000 reward for information regarding the whereabouts of the FARC commander “Chaverra” who allegedly has ordered to shut down the west of the country.
The commander of FARC’s 34th Front, a group allegedly supported by the drug gang “Los Rastrojos,” is reported to have distributed pamphlets in the department of Choco ordering an armed strike which includes a complete halt of all transport and trade in the department until November 17.
Deputy Defense Minister, Jorge Bedoya, said in an interview with Radio Caracol that the award for information on Chaverra, whose real name is Edinson Maquilon Tapias, has been increased from $55,100 to $551,000.
Speaking after a special security meeting, called to discuss the worsening security situation in the area, Bedoya said that Chaverra was responsible for “psychological terrorism, pamphlets and threatening calls to the citizens.”
Bedoya also confirmed that more than 300 extra troops would be deployed in the area before the end of the year to “strengthen territorial control.”
The government’s announcement comes after two incidents last week when a bus and a car were set alight on a road linking department capital Quibdo with Istmina.
It is believed that FARC’s 34th Front and Rastrojos, who have had a stranglehold over much of the area ever since the organization took over the drug trafficking routes of the Norte del Valle cartel, are working in alliance to shut down the trade and transport.