23 FARC dissidents die in an operation in eastern Colombia

(Updates the number of dead dissidents and provides more information) Bogotá, Feb 24 At least 23 FARC dissidents, including a leader known as “Arturo”, died this Thursday in an operation carried out by the Air Force, the Police and the Army in a rural area of ​​the Colombian department of Arauca, bordering Venezuela, the Colombian government confirmed. The operation, detailed on Twitter by the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, occurred in a region of the municipality of Puerto Rondón, in the convulsive Arauca, against the dissidents of the Tenth Front of the former FARC. “So far, 23 members and 5 wounded (who have been arrested) of the dissident structure of the FARC Tenth Front have been neutralized,” Defense Minister Diego Molano explained from Arauca after a security council. Among the killed appears a “ringleader”, known by the alias of “Arturo”, “one of the top leaders of the FARC dissidents”, who was present at the peace agreement in Havana, and another named “Ernesto” , which would be “the political leader, the one who liked to strut his stuff in the media,” in the words of Molano. According to the Government, with this operation “the structure is dismantled”, which is held responsible for events such as the car bomb attack in the town of Saravena against a headquarters of human rights organizations on January 19, where a security guard. Unlike other areas of Colombia where drug trafficking is the main catalyst for violence, in Arauca there are few coca crops and social leaders attribute the conflict to an old problem caused by the extraction of hydrocarbons in the region and disputes with companies. oil companies Since the beginning of the year, the region has experienced a new wave of violence due to clashes between the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents. Between January 1 and February 21 there were 99 homicides in Arauca, while there are 1,781 victims of forced displacement as a result of confrontations and threats, according to the Ministry of Defense. Added to this are the threats and violence against social leaders, since from the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016 to December 31, 2021, 21 human rights defenders were murdered, according to the Somos Defensores program. EFE jga-ime/laa

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