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2010-09-24

Colombia: Mono Jojoy’s death major blow to FARC

By Eduardo L. Hooker for Infosurhoy.com—24/09/2010

Mono Jojoy’s death could lead to peace talks, senator says.

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The death of Víctor Suárez Rojas, the No. 2 leader of the FARC, is “a triumph of legitimacy, of authority and of democracy over terrorism,” said Horacio Serpa, former presidential candidate and current Gov. of the department of Santander. (Eliana Aponte/Reuters)

The death of Víctor Suárez Rojas, the No. 2 leader of the FARC, is “a triumph of legitimacy, of authority and of democracy over terrorism,” said Horacio Serpa, former presidential candidate and current Gov. of the department of Santander. (Eliana Aponte/Reuters)

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Rodrigo Rivera, the country’s defense minister, made his point perfectly clear to members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after the death of Víctor Suárez Rojas, the terrorist group’s No. 2 leader.

“The message to the FARC members is to surrender,” he said. “Our judicial system will respect life and human treatment.”

Rivera said the military won’t stop its offensive against the country’s largest guerrilla group after killing Suárez, a 57-year-old also known as “Jorge Briceño” and “Mono Jojoy,” during “Operation Sodom” in the jungle of the department of Meta on Sept. 23.

The death of the person Rivera described as “the most hated man in Colombia” could force the FARC into laying down their weapons and releasing their kidnapping victims, which they must do before President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration engages in peace talks.

“This is a triumph of legitimacy, of authority and of democracy over terrorism,” Horacio Serpa, former presidential candidate and current Gov. of the department of Santander, told Infosurhoy.com. “This shows that our military forces and police are performing as they should, and this sends a message to the other members of the FARC that if their military chief was taken down, tomorrow any of them can go down.”

Suárez’s death could be FARC’s downfall

Serpa said Suárez’s death will cause turmoil within the FARC.

“This is a serious blow to the guerrilla,” he said. “The death of their military chief will surely cause chaos and bewilderment in [the FARC]. ‘Jojoy’ represented violence, death, sadness, kidnappings and thousands of felonies more, that’s why we must be happy for the success of our armed forces.”

Serpa said it’s time for the country’s oldest guerrilla group, which was founded in 1964 and has about 8,000 members, to end its fight.

“Colombians deserve peace, tranquility, the hope for a better country and above all, we deserve an end to these 50 years of violence,” he said.

Sen. Piedad Córdoba, president of the Peace Commission of the Colombian Senate said Suárez’s death should breathe life into peace talks to end the bloodshed and heartbreak caused by the FARC.

“I wish that this act of war finally opens the door for dialogue, to a humanization of the conflict, to the rule of international humanitarian law,” Córdoba said in an exclusive interview with Infosurhoy.com. “[The dialogue] is necessary first to achieve the freedom of those who remain kidnapped and second to humanize this war that is bleeding the country out.”

During “Operation Sodom,” military and police forces confiscated 15 laptop computers and 69 USB drives that are being analyzed by intelligence agents, Juan Manuel Santos said in a statement released by the Colombian presidency.

“There is an incredible change in Colombia,” Juan Manuel Santos said from New York City, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly. “You can’t imagine the enthusiasm of the people. We are headed to a much better country. The Colombian people dream with a better future.”

FARC’s violence has escalated since Santos’ inauguration

The FARC has increased its attacks since Juan Manuel Santos took office on Aug. 7. At least 40 law enforcement or military personnel have been killed in attacks attributed to the FARC this month. The FARC also has been suspected in the killing of 56 civilians and the injuring of 52 others this month, according to the United Nations.

The FARC allegedly killed three police officers and injured another during an ambush of a patrol near the villages of Tres Bocas in the department of Norte de Santander near the border with Venezuela on Sept. 14. The attack occurred a few days after the FARC was accused of killing eight police officers and wounding four near the San Miguel International Bridge.

A week earlier, the FARC was suspected in the deaths of at least four soldiers and the injuring of nine during an attack in the department of Antioquia. On Sept. 1, the FARC allegedly killed 14 police officers and injured nine others during an assault in the department of Caquetá.

Of the 2,800 officially documented kidnappings between 1996 and 2008, 676 were perpetrated by the FARC, according to a study conducted by the National Fund for the Defense of Personal Freedom (Fondelibertad), an agency of Colombia’s Ministry of Defense. Fondelibertad, however, conducted a study based on that 2,800 baseline number and concluded that by Feb. 28, 2010, there are 70 known to remain hostage, 50 of whom are being held captive by the terrorist group. The study also stated of the 2,800 cases, 614 have a status of undefined and are under investigation.

Colombian political analyst Alejo Vargas said the death of Suárez, who had been named in about 60 arrest warrants and is suspected in the killings of thousands, represents one of the biggest victories of the government’s democratic security policy.

“Every military strike against the guerrilla group, besides increasing the trust of the citizens in the government, lays the road to a peace dialogue,” Vargas, director of research of the School of Law at Colombia’s National University told Infosurhoy.com.

“The death of ‘Mono Jojoy’ shows a clear balance in favor of the government. “There is no doubt that his death is a big blow to the structure and cohesion of the FARC.”

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17 Comments

  1. ernesto 08/01/2011

    TO ALL WHO WROTE THESE COMMENTS I SUGGEST THAT FIRST YOU TAKE A COURSE IN SPELLING, GO TO "WALK" THAT IS WHY WE ARE THE WAY WE ARE...READY????

  2. nestor vargas 07/25/2011

    In the beginning the guerrilla had some good ideals but ever since they allowed bullies like Mono Jojoy into their ranks they lost a lot of credibility

  3. Ramon Sanchez 11/05/2010

    When a people have been massacred like they have massacred the Colombian people, the people have the right to defend themselves and use armed struggle which is the final resource the people have the Colombian oligarchy does not want peace and every day they attack whoever dares to disagree with them from Venezuela we will do everything possible to find peace, we know that Santos doesn't believe in Chávez all he wants is to improve relations to avoid having his compatriots on the border turn into guerrillas and then Chávez is the bad guy honor and glory to commandant Mono Jojoy

  4. el triangulo 11/05/2010

    A communication for all the friends don't let them cover you up, your fight, for a miserable crumb of trash which is what this current government is giving ,, since they have realized the power of the mobilization of the people throughout our homeland. A strong and revolutionary hug. Sincerely LOA CHILDREN OF THE STRUGGLE

  5. Tito Burgos P. 11/02/2010

    Congratulations to the Government and to its Armed Forces, for the operation by which they took down the No. 1 Colombian terrorist, the one who caused the most deaths and kidnappings of Colombians demanding money from them for the kidnappings he caused, forced and merciless displacements. 11/2/2010

  6. Estéfani JOSÉ Agoston EJoseA Grifão 10/26/2010

    Here in Brazil some members of the military are also being harassed. Worse, it's known that most of high ranking officials support the Brazilian alliance with communist China, for they're enemies of the USA and England, and they're also anonymous allies of the FARC, Hugo Chávez, Fidel and other bandits so equally dangerous. That's why Brazilian military is not supporting other South American militaries that are being harassed today for they fought communists and communist guerrillas. Part of the Brazilian military today is allied to leftist bandits.

  7. Ildefonso 10/26/2010

    I think the only one who is winning in this conflict is hate, since with each death a seed of war is fertilized and like crabgrass it is sown in the hearts of the children, relatives and friends of each victim. But let us not believe that by killing each other for whatever reasons are we going to achieve peace. Let us wake up from this dream that has gone on so long and that has cost us so much blood, looking erroneously for what we will never find through war.

  8. oscar 10/25/2010

    PEOPLE OF PUERTO ASIS PUTUMAYO ONE HEARS THAT THE SAME THING THAT HAPPENED TO MR. NELSON JURADO AND ALIRIO ROMO IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO MAURO TORO. BUT DIDN'T WE REALIZE THAT MAURO TORO WON THE MAYORAL OFFICE SEAT WITH THE HELP OF THE THREE GROUPS ON THE EDGE OF LAWLESSNESS THAT ARE IN PUTUMAYO. 1 - THE BOARD OF THE PARTIDO LIBERAL THIEVES OF THE BUDGET, HEALTH, EDUCATION. GUILLERMO RIVERA, LUIS FERNANDO OCHOA. 2 - THE MURDERING LEFTOVER GROUP LED BY MANUEL TONGUINO ALIAS MANI AND TIO BETO. 3 - THE FARC GROUP FRONT 48. CALLS ITSELF THE ARMY OF THE PEOPLE. WE ARE NEVER GOING TO SEE JUSTICE, THEY HAVE ALL THE EVIL AND POWER TOGETHER.

  9. abelardo jimenez 10/23/2010

    We Colombians just want peace but we don't want so much violence because everyone involved in it dies they are working class Colombians and not the high society that never goes into battle because they are the sons of the great politicians who embody the same politics which calls for the little people to give up their lives in order for the great sons of those same politicians to bleed the people as we see in the reports from the different commissions that the government always makes up for the wealthy but what about the boys in the guerrilla is it that they no longer have a political ideology and therefore the people are afraid of them because you can never go near a child with a whip to make the small child a man in the future

  10. Hernán vanegas m. 10/22/2010

    God shows me that during this time peace will be achieved through: dialogue and agreements - by a massive surrender of low-level guerrilla fighters -- by armed forces offensives and attacks. The government needs to acknowledge those who help it, and not violate authorities, or usurp rights. I would like to have a personal interview with the Minister of Defense

  11. Wilson 10/22/2010

    Beyond hitting the FARC hard, we Colombians are all feeling a great relief to know that Víctor Suárez Rojas, alias "mono jojoy" won't be causing anymore terror, death, kidnapping, forced displacement, extortion, etc., etc., etc., in this world. To everyone who participated in the Sodoma operation my greatest congratulations and please keep it up in this struggle because in a not too distant future we will win. Jorge 22-10-2010

  12. calixto diaz 10/20/2010

    great victory they kill 7 guerrilla fighters and for the operative the commander OF THE FUNDRA SAYS THAT 20 TROOPS OF THE PUBLIC FORCE DIED AND THEY AMPUTATED 70 IF WE GO ON THIS WAY SOON WE WILL WIN HEHEHEHEHEHE CLOWNS 100 FEWER MEN IN THE MILITARY FORCES AND 7 FEWER IN THE GUERRILLA FORCE WE ARE WINNING LET'S GO ON THIS WAY BECAUSE WE WILL PUT AN END TO THEM SOON HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE

  13. luisa 10/15/2010

    Very cool and that is exactly why I want to be part of the police force and the army because of their good work I congratulate you…..excellent

  14. Adriano 10/14/2010

    It's fighting time for the Workers Party, colleagues Dilma and Lula.

  15. wilson 10/10/2010

    It is a victory for us and with the support of the President of the Republic may his voice not tremble when he gives orders and counteracts this evil that has to be expelled to give Colombians peace. Be tough on those terrorists

  16. Smaillims Peñate 09/27/2010

    Friends at INFOSUR, the person who died in that bombing was Victor Suárez Rojas, alias Mono Jojoy, but in your article today, in the fourth paragraph, you distort his death, and are reporting that the one who died was the Colombian Minister of Defense and that is not true. There is a great error of confusion that has to be corrected. In addition, help Colombia to achieve Peace, through its borders. A HUG

  17. Ever Luis CANCÉ 09/25/2010

    It is hard to give an opinion about the guerrillas here in Argentina we had and those who fought and were jailed and now the guerrillas are in power that is why it is difficult to give an opinion. There are presidents and nations that find this state useful and the one we thought was a friend is our enemy If you beat the guerrillas never declare the armed forces as enemies of the country. Now we don’t have anyone to defend us. Ever L. Cancé

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