The Colombian army succeeded in further weakening the splinter groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) by capturing three of their leaders in the department of Meta, in eastern Colombia, in early September. Structure leader alias Boliqueso Jorge Briceño, alias Anderson and alias Iván, leaders of Structure 39, were captured during search and seizure operations.
That same month, in the department of Santander, army troops also dealt a blow to the finances of Structure 33 by destroying two cocaine hydrochloride processing laboratories, valued at more than 3 million dollars, said the General Command of the Colombian Military Forces in a statement. The operations were carried out with the support of the Colombian Air Force, the Sectional Judicial and Criminal Investigation Units of the National Police (SIJIN) and the Attorney General’s Office.
“We made three captures, two of which [belonging to] Structure 39, including its second leader Gerardo Antonio Sanguino, alias Anderson, [who] had a 24-year criminal record,” Colombian Army Brigadier General Miller Vladimir Nossa Rojas, commander of the 4th Division, told reporters.
Alias Anderson is believed to be responsible for multiple ambushes of troops and terror attacks on security forces, as well as kidnappings and extortion of businessmen and cattle ranchers, the military says Colombian.
“Alias Iván, a foreign national, was responsible for the finances and terrorist acts […], planting explosive devices and extortion,” Brig. said General Nossa. Alias Iván entered Colombia in 2019, to join the extinct 10th Front armed group, where he carried out criminal activities against public forces in Arauquita and Saravena, Arauca department, the military reported. Alias Iván was the financial director of Structure 39 and led the extortion of high-income farmers and cattle ranchers.
Authorities captured alias Boliqueso in another operation. “He was currently the head of the support networks [of the Jorge Briceño Structure]. This individual was active in the municipalities of Meta, Uribe, Lejanías and Vista Hermosa; he had been with the organization for 15 years and was a confidant of the head of the commission, Aurelio Buendía,” Brig. said General Nossa.
In the municipality of Tibú, department of Norte de Santander, the army destroyed laboratories for processing cocaine hydrochloride. At the facilities, authorities found and destroyed more than 939 liters of liquid precursor chemicals and 160 kilograms of solid precursor chemicals, lime and caustic soda, among others used to process the alkaloid.
“Troops from Task Force Vulcano and the Transnational Threat Command managed to destroy two gigantic laboratories that housed more than 3,000 kg of cocaine hydrochloride,” Colombian Army Colonel Diego Jaramillo Muñoz told reporters. , commander of Task Force Vulcano. “According to military intelligence and after several days of surveillance, the soldiers arrived at the village of La Colombiana, where we obtained this strong result against those suspected of being part of the organized armed group of the dissident FARC Structure 33.”
Throughout 2022 through September 28, the military reported the capture of 803 people linked to FARC splinter groups. Authorities also seized 79,923 kg of cocaine hydrochloride, 24,011 kg of coca base paste, 90,601 kg of marijuana, 1,655 laboratories, 883 nurseries, 325,236 kg of solid chemical precursors, more than 2 million liters of liquid chemical precursors and more than 2,500 weapons, according to data from the National Army Press Office.