In Colombia, one of the leaders of the renegade fighters of the former guerrilla organization FARC has been killed by the army. Néstor Vera aka “Iván Mordisco” and nine other ex-FARC members were killed in an army attack in the southwest of the country on July 8. said Defense Minister Diego Molano. The “last great leader” of FARC has fallen. Molano described this as a “death blow” for the remnants of FARC.
Vera was one of the most wanted men in Colombia, and a reward of around $700,000 was offered for information on his whereabouts.
According to army information, around 500 soldiers had been looking for Vera in the jungle of the Caquetá region for weeks. As General Luis Fernando Navarro has now said, Vera had only recently taken command of a group of some 2,000 renegade FARC members following the alleged death of predecessor Miguel Santillana Botache, aka “Gentil Duarte,” in neighboring Venezuela.
The left-wing FARC guerrilla had waged a decades-long civil war against the Colombian state before signing a peace deal with the government in late 2016. As a result, around 7,000 FARC fighters were disarmed in the South American country, and the FARC turned into a political party.
However, some of the FARC members refused the agreement and have been fighting other rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups ever since. Vera had already turned her back on the peace process a few months before the agreement was signed.
The renegade FARC rebels have no unified command. According to the Indepaz Observatory, there are a total of around 5,200 fighters who are scattered all over Colombia and are mainly financed by drug trafficking and illegal mining.