Northwestern Bloc of the FARC-EP

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The Northwestern Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as the Iván Ríos Bloc[1] has historically been a strong influence in the Medellín and Antioquia regions, and still is today. It has been among the blocs most seriously targeted by former president Álvaro Uribe's defense plan and the Colombian Army's offensive. Due to this, the bloc has been forced to retreat to more remote areas of the countryside and has lost the dominance it once had in the area. The specific divisions of the group are arguable. Because of the current conflict existing in the country, much of the information recovered is conflicting. Some of the believed divisions or "fronts", as they are commonly called, are shown below. Many of these fronts sometimes work together towards a certain mission, while others are further divided into "columns" and "companies" with a smaller number of members. For more general information see FARC-EP Chain of Command.

Commanders[edit]

Alias Name Note
Isaías Trujillo Luis Carlos Úsuga Restrepo Bloc commander.[2]
Iván Márquez Luciano Marín Arango
Jesus Santrich[3] Seusis Hernández

Columna móvil Mario Vélez[edit]

This mobile column is composed of around 300 members. It operates mainly in el Nudo de Paramillo, Yarumal, Valdivia and Anorí.[4]

Alias Name Note
Remorado Column commander.[5]

5th Front[edit]

Also known as the Antonio Nariño Front, this front is composed by up to 350 combatants and operates mostly in the Urabá region of the Antioquia Department.

Alias Name Note
Jacobo Arango Front commander.[6] Killed on January 31, 2012.[7]
Jacobo Luis Carlos Durango Úsuga Arrested in 2003.
"La Muerte" or "Hermes" Héctor Elías Úsuga Higuita Killed in April 2011.[8]
"Ramirito" Ramiro Antonio Montoya Moreno Ringleader, killed in November 2011.[9]

9th Front[edit]

Also known as the Atanasio Girardot Front, this front is composed 45 to 50[10] combatants and operates mostly in the Antioquia Department. The Colombian military claims that this front has now been dismantled[11] but NGO Nuevo Arco Iris said in 2012 the front is still active[12]

Alias Name Note
Danilo Iván de Jesús Zuluaga Killed in 2009[13]
Gabriel Second in command[14]
Salomón Third in command[15]
Alonso, Chamizo Tulio Murillo Ávila Arrested in 2005.
Caliche Virgilio de Jesús Guzmán Demobilized in 2006.
David Sebastián Hernández Giraldo Arrested in February 14, 2011.[16]
“Elicier” or “El Diablo” Gabriel Arcangel Galvis Montoya Second-in-command. Killed on July 16, 2012.[17]

18th Front[edit]

This front is composed by up to 150 combatants and operates mostly in the Córdoba Department.

Alias Name Note
Manteco Jóberman Sánchez Arroyabe
Román Ruiz Front commander

34th Front[edit]

Also known as the Alberto Martínez Front, this front is composed by up to 250 combatants and operates mostly in the Chocó and Antioquia Departments.

Alias Name Note
Pedro Baracutado Ancízar García Commands 34:th front[18]
El Paisa Jesús Agudelo Rodríguez Killed in 2008.[19]
Amparo Killed in July 2010.[20]
Modesto Ramón Antonio Duarte Borja Captured in July 2010.[21][22]
Elian Ran away fron FARC (March 2011) with his wife alias "Elizabeth".[23]
Elizabeth Ran away fron FARC (March 2011) with his husband alias "Elian".[24]

36th Front[edit]

This front is composed by up to 160 combatants and operates mostly in the Antioquia Department.

Alias Name Note
"Ánderson" or "Carranza" Front commander[25]
Dúber Rubén Darío Pérez Contreras Killed in 2008.[26]
Argemiro, El Zurdo Martín Francisco Puerta Henao Captured in 2005.
Tres Pelos Héctor Alfonso Villalobos Killed in 2003.
Guacharaco Juan Bautista Peña Serna Killed in April 2010.
Pechi

Demobilized in August 2010.[27]

Jaimes

Demobilized on October 26, 2010.[28]

El Pájaro Jesús Morales Morales

After being wounded, he handed himself to the army on February 8, 2011.[29][30]

Samper Alberto Montoya Montoya Captured by Interpol in April 2011.
Shampoo Financial leader and explosive expert. Killed in August 2011 along with two others guerilleros.[31]

47th Front[edit]

Also known as the Leonardo Posada Pedraza Front, this front is composed by 15 to 90 combatants and operates mostly in the Caldas and Antioquia Departments. The front is, as of 2011, mainly active in the border between southern Antioquia and Caldas, with limited, if any, activity in other departments.[32]

Alias Name Note
Kadafi[33]
Karina Nelly Ávila Moreno Demobilized in 2008.[34]

On May 19, 2008, Karina surrendered herself to the Colombian authorities, two weeks after president Uribe guaranteed her safety on her surrender. According to the governor of Antioquia, Luis Alfredo Ramos, she was also urged by her family to surrender.[35]

57th Front[edit]

This front is composed by up to 250 combatants, and operates mostly in the Chocó Department.

Alias Name Note
Benkos 2d in command.[36]
El Becerro Commander 57th Front, escaped bombing in 'operation darién'[37]
Silver Killed on October 3, 2010, in Operation Darien

58th Front[edit]

Also known as the Mártires de las Canas Front, this front is composed by up to 150 combatants and operates mostly in the Antioquia and Córdoba Departments.

Alias Name Note
Manteco Jóberman Sánchez Arroyabe

Jacobo Arenas Urban Front[edit]

This urban front is considered FARC's greatest influence in the Medellín region.

Alias Name Note
Ramiro, Político Killed in 2006.
Octavio Rolando Acevedo Muñoz Killed in 2005.

Raúl Eduardo Mahecha Front[edit]

Operates in Antioquia. In September 2011 this front is believed to have rescued three oil workers who were kidnapped by criminals in August 2011. The guerrillas freed the workers and handed them over the Colombian police.[38]

Columns and Companies[edit]

The following columns and companies also form part of the Northwestern Bloc:

  • Company Aurelio Rodríguez: Composed by up to 110 combatants, this company operates in the Risaralda and Caldas Departments and is led by Martín Cruz Vega, alias "Rubin Morro". One of its highest ranking militants, Jesús González Cardona, alias "Osama", was captured in 2007.
  • Company Héroes y Mártires del Cairo operates in the Antioquia Department.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Spanish) Comunicado del Bloque Noroccidental de las FARC EP
  2. ^ http://www.elnuevosiglo.com.co/articulos/10-2011-millonarias-recompensas-por-cabecillas-de-las-farc.html
  3. ^ (Spanish) El Tiempo: Ex ministro de Chávez, cerebro de la visita de las Farc a Caracas
  4. ^ http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/A/anori_el_fortin_que_las_farc_buscan_retomar/anori_el_fortin_que_las_farc_buscan_retomar.asp
  5. ^ http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/A/anori_el_fortin_que_las_farc_buscan_retomar/anori_el_fortin_que_las_farc_buscan_retomar.asp
  6. ^ http://www.noticiascaracol.com/nacion/video-243266-gobierno-ofrece-1200-millones-maximos-cabecillas-de-farc-uraba
  7. ^ http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/27958-leading-farc-commander-killed-in-northwestern-colombia.html
  8. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=280742
  9. ^ http://www.colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/20123-farc-ringleader-killed-in-northwest-colombia.html
  10. ^ http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/F/frente_9_perdio_armas_y_municion/frente_9_perdio_armas_y_municion.asp?CodSeccion=9
  11. ^ El Tiempo. "'Karina' niega tener relación con la muerte del padre del presidente Álvaro Uribe" May 19, 2008. Available online. Accessed May 19, 2008.
  12. ^ http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/25106-colombian-army-kills-farc-commander.html
  13. ^ http://www.poder360.com/dailynews_detail.php?blurbid=4297
  14. ^ http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/F/frente_9_perdio_armas_y_municion/frente_9_perdio_armas_y_municion.asp?CodSeccion=9
  15. ^ http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/F/frente_9_perdio_armas_y_municion/frente_9_perdio_armas_y_municion.asp?CodSeccion=9
  16. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=277560
  17. ^ http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/25106-colombian-army-kills-farc-commander.html
  18. ^ http://www.rcnradio.com/noticias/por-temor-posibles-retaliaciones-del-frente-34-de-las-farc-26-familias-del-caser-o-las-bris
  19. ^ http://colombiareports.com/colombian-news/news/1326-colombian-army-claims-death-of-farc-commander.html
  20. ^ http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/antioquia/fuera-de-combate-cuatro-presuntos-guerrilleros_7810442-1
  21. ^ http://www.septimadivision.mil.co/?idcategoria=252576
  22. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=252588
  23. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=279635
  24. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=279635
  25. ^ http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/A/anori_el_fortin_que_las_farc_buscan_retomar/anori_el_fortin_que_las_farc_buscan_retomar.asp
  26. ^ El Tiempo. "Sucesor de 'Martín Caballero' en las Farc murió en combate" February 11, 2008. Available online. Accessed February 12, 2008.
  27. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=254985
  28. ^ http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=265887
  29. ^ http://www.radionacionaldecolombia.gov.co/index.php?option=com_topcontent&view=article&id=14349:e-entrego-alias-el-pajaro-cabecilla-de-las-farc-en-antioquia-&catid=1:noticias
  30. ^ http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/14182-farc-leader-surrenders-to-armed-forces.html
  31. ^ http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/18011-military-kills-farc-finance-leader.html
  32. ^ http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/judicial/aparece-frente-jacobo-arenas-en-sureste-de-antioquia/20070521/nota/429810.aspx
  33. ^ http://colombiareports.com/2008/06/05/colombian-army-kills-girlfriend-kadafi/
  34. ^ (Spanish) Caracol Radio: Se entregó alias 'Karina', comandante del frente 47 de las Farc
  35. ^ BBC NEWS | Americas | Leading Farc commander surrenders
  36. ^ http://mensual.prensa.com/mensual/contenido/2007/07/31/hoy/panorama/1062056.html
  37. ^ http://expertvagabond.com/farc-wanted-poster/
  38. ^ http://www.rcnradio.com/noticias/las-farc-fueron-quienes-rescataron-los-c-110234