Colombian security forces today applied a major blow to dissident rebels who distanced themselves from the peace process in that country, shoot down one of his high command in a military operation in the municipality of Tacueyó, located in the department of Cauca, where large areas of drug crops are concentrated.
Is about Euclid Spain, known by the alias of Jhonier, who was “neutralized” by the Colombian Military Forces and Police, with the support of the Attorney General’s Office, in a operation started 25 days ago, as announced by the president, Iván Duque, in a public statement.
“This symbol of evil, for whom there was a reward of 3,000 million Colombian pesos (about 760,000 dollars), is responsible for the murder of social leaders, extortion and drug trafficking. In addition, it is an alias key token ‘Gentle Duarte’ and of ‘Ivan Bite’, whom we also keep track of,” added the Colombian president on his Twitter account.
Jhonier, whose age was not revealed, was one of the guerrilla commanders who was excluded from the agreement with the extinct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and coordinated several of the dissident organizations that are in command of ‘Gentil Duarte’ and ‘Iván Mordisco’, two of the most persecuted men in Colombia.
“This is one of the biggest blows that is favored to the dissidents of the FARC. And we are talking about a criminal with more than 25 years of murderous and criminal history,” the president stressed.
For his part, General Luis Fernando Navarro, commander of the Armed Forces, revealed in the same act that “state-of-the-art technology for intelligence” and “the best of the troops” were used so that “they could advance mainly in the night”.
“This is how today, around 3:00 in the afternoon, it is possible to neutralize this symbol of evil“, General Navarro specified.
Jhonier, ascendant leader
Short and overweight, Jhonier was unknown to public opinion until his image began to circulate in 2020. Then, he spoke with the researcher Ariel Ávila about the dissidence expansion campaign in an interview published by the newspaper El Espectador.
He was dressed in camouflage, carried a rifle and presented himself as a member of “the true armed resistance that did not go to Havana,” the site of the peace process that demobilized some 13,000 men and women. However, several guerrilla fronts that operate without a unified command remained active.
“This is one of the most important blows that the FARC dissidents are facing,” said Iván Duque.
The NGO Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz) calculates that in total today there are about 5,000 combatants, divided into two large organizations, the one headed by ‘Gentil Duarte’ and the so-called Second Marquetalia.
This latest dissidence is led by Iván Márquez, former chief negotiator of the FARC, who returned to arms in 2019 alleging state breaches of the peace agreement.
The government does not recognize the dissidents as armed rebels and treats them as drug traffickers, given the struggle they wage with other groups for control of drug trafficking routes and illegal mining revenues.
This Monday, the police chief, General Jorge Luis Vargas, described the dejected Jhonier as a “symbol of evil” and a “pure drug trafficker.” “More than 46 police officers have been injured by the direct instructions of this criminal,” the officer added.
With information from AFP.