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The change of side of 'Pescao': an ex-paramilitary leader of a FARC dissident faction

2022-05-17T21:15:06.696Z

The Colombian army has as one of its top priorities to finish off Pescao, who in the past assassinated a mayor when he was leading a self-defense group



The Colombian war has been filled with mercenaries.

The time of great ideals, when people left their lives behind and threw themselves into the mountains to fight for a cause, is behind us.

This is demonstrated by cases such as that of Luis Felipe Jiménez Ramírez, alias

Pescao

.

The Colombian armed forces have discovered to their surprise that the former paramilitary is currently leading a faction of the FARC dissidents, small armed groups that did not join the peace process and are now mainly engaged in drug trafficking.

Pescao, according to the prosecution, was the main person responsible for the kidnapping and subsequent murder in 2014 of a mayor of a municipality in Boyacá.

Before the relatives of the victim, the criminals who took him identified themselves as members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Casanare, the name of a paramilitary group.

“That is the information we have.

Pescao changed sides”, explain military sources.

Tracing his trajectory is not easy at all.

In 2005, he is placed as a member of the Tenth Front of the former FARC, when the most powerful guerrilla in Latin America was still active.

It was more than a decade before he signed the peace and most of his combatants reintegrated into civilian life.

Pescao did not take that path.

Instead of laying down his arms, he created his own criminal group, along with seven other ex-guerrillas, which was dedicated to extortion and began to present itself as a paramilitary gang.

That is, the enemies of the guerrilla.

He didn't get too excited about the name: the Pescao gang.

Lawyer Juan Carlos Torregroza, an expert in human rights, follows Pescao's criminal history since he killed Mayor Samuel Bohórquez Vásquez.

“When that happened, he no longer belonged to the FARC since long before the demobilization.

He had already formed that criminal and paramilitary gang.

It is clearer than ever that the dissidences are mercenary structures, that they have nothing to do with ideals.

They want to call themselves Farc, but they are not.

His fight has lost all meaning, ”explains Torregroza.

The structure of the Pescao gang, according to the Colombian prosecutor's office

The FARC dissidents had a strong presence in the Arauca region, on the border with Venezuela.

It is a key point to control drug trafficking.

However, a year ago the Venezuelan army launched an offensive against the dissidents that left them very decimated.

Several of their leaders were killed.

That power vacuum sparked Pescao's rise.

He wasn't going to have it easy.

The ELN, starting in January, also went to war with the dissidents and has cornered them to the limits of the region.

For example, they have been completely expelled from the municipality of Saravena, where they previously controlled the prostitution business and collected a revolutionary tax from merchants.

Pescao and his troops are close to defeat, according to military sources,

and it is likely that in the coming months there will be hardly any trace of them in Arauca.

Unlike the dissidents, the ELN has social support and its success is not only military.

Pescao's group is allied with the faction of Gentil Duarte, a warlord who also comes from the former FARC, from where he was expelled for not following orders.

Right now Duarte is the most wanted criminal in Colombia.

The dissidences that he commands have been included in the terrorist list of the United States.

Duarte, for now, has prevailed over other dissidents of the old guerrilla group known as the Second Marquetalia of Iván Márquez, hit by the deaths of three of its main leaders: Jesús Sántrich, El Paisa and Romaña.

All of them were men who once fought for an ideal, but who ended up as mercenaries in war.

Those who replace them are combatants like Pescao, who do not care in the least about changing sides.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-05-17

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