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Colombia eliminates a military leader of the Farc

Colombia eliminates a military leader of the Farc

The Colombian military forces killed, this Thursday, the chief of the military operations of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), Jorge Suárez Briceño, a.k.a. “Mono Jojoy”.

The Operation Sodoma, which turned in the death of the fourth member of the Secretariat of the organization since 2008, was qualified by President Juan Manuel Santos as “the welcome to the Farc”.

In the evaluation of Santos, the death of Jojoy is more important than that of Raúl Reyes, who was the second in charge of the guerrilla.

“He was the symbol of the terror that caused so much damage to the country. Mono Jojoy symbolized the terror, the violence, and because of that I think that it was the most forceful blow inflicted to the Farc in its whole history”, he affirmed.

The siege to the guerrilla leader was built together with the National Police, the Army and the Air Force, in the Mountain Range of Macarena, Meta. 30 airplanes and 27 helicopters were employed in the attack.

The Minister of Defense, Rodrigo Rivera, affirmed that “we reached the mother of all the camps, with more than 300 meters of longitude, which had a bunker, tunnels and areas of escape”.

According to him, the operation disposed of an immense work of intelligence that penetrated the near and important structures of Mono Jojoy.

“The Farc are being ruined from the inside”, it guaranteed.

Mono Jojoy

Responsible for the military operations of the Farc, including the seizures, Briceño, then chief of the Oriental Block of the guerrilla, was also wanted for money laundering and drug trafficking.

The government of the United States offered US$ 5 millions for his capture.

He joined the Farc in 1975 as regular guerrilla until he occupied a place in the Secretariat and became one of the most important and feared members of the organization.

There were 62 orders of capture about him, 12 precautionary measures, five condemnations, two requests of extradition and 25 still not ended investigations, for crimes of drug trafficking, terrorism, rebellion, murder, seizure, robbery, extortion and conspiracy.

At one moment, Jojoy had seven thousand men under his command.

Analysis of the News

Marcelo Rech

In the beginning of last week, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), released a communiqué rejecting any negotiation of peace that was imposing conditionings.

President Juan Manuel Santos, in the job for less than three months, made clear that the government only would discuss with the organization after the Farc hands over the weapons, waives the terrorism and frees the hostages, some of them with more than ten years of captivity.

With the death of Mono Jojoy, Santos gives a hard blow in the military structure of the guerrilla and leaves Alfonso Cano as the only influential leader still alive. Moreover, he gives a clear message that he won´t accept internal or external pressures to sit at the table with the organization.

The combats have a tendency to intensify.

At present, the Farc has only eight thousand combatants.

Several of its spokesmen abroad look to press governments and entities connected with the defense of the human rights, so that they obstruct the military victory of Colombia in this conflict that lasts almost 50 years.

Juan Manuel Santos was the Minister of Defense of Álvaro Uribe when Raúl Reyes was killed, in March of 2008, in Ecuadorian territory.

Just like the ex-president, he had relatives sequestrated and killed by the Farc.

To happen a peace process in his government, it would be needed the complete renunciation of the violence by the guerrilla. And the gestures need to come from the jungle.

The tendency is that more and more combatants demobilize, leave the armed combat and look for the guarantees offered by the State.

However, to believe in complete annihilation of the Farc or of the ELN is asking too much.

While insurgent groups exist in Colombia, there will be pretext so that millions of dollars are poured in the country in cash and in the form of equipments and troops of the United States.

To have the Farc controlled and incapable of threatening militarily the country is the best of the worlds. It satisfies all the interests involved.

Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies & Policies of Defense and Terrorism & Counter-insurgency. E-mail: inforel@inforel.org

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