Middle Magdalena Bloc of the FARC-EP

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The Middle Magdalena Bloc of the FARC-EP (Spanish: Bloque Magdalena Medio) is a FARC-EP bloc, notable for its involvement in the conflict with the AUC until the latter's demobilization in 2004. Since then, it has become one of the Colombian army's biggest worries, as citizens of these areas are claiming that the FARC are once again gaining control over the territory.[citation needed]

The specific divisions of the group are arguable. Because of the current conflict existing in the country, much of the information recovered is conflicting and should not be taken as absolutely reliable. 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
Pastor Alape Félix Antonio Muñoz Lascarro[1]
"Juan Carlos" Killed in 2006.[2]

4th Front[edit]

It is composed by up to 100 combatants and operates mostly in the Antioquia Department (Municipalities of Zaragoza, Segovia, Remedios, Amalfi, Vegachí, Yalí, Yondó and Maceo). Its current leadership has not been identified since its main leader was killed outside of combat in 2006.

Alias Name Note
"Nicolás" Murdered in 2006.[3]
"Juan" Handed himself in and demobilized in August 2010.[4]
"Edward" Handed himself in and demobilized in August 2010.[4]
"Deisy" Handed himself in and demobilized in August 2010.[4]
"Andrea" Handed himself in and demobilized in August 2010.[4]

11th Front[edit]

Also known as the José Antonio Anzoategui Front, it is composed by up to 60 combatants and operates mostly in the Boyacá Department. Its leader, who also commanded the 23rd front, was killed in combat in 2006.

Alias Name Note
"Wálter" Killed in 2006.[5]

12th Front[edit]

Also known as the José Antonio Galán Front, this front was composed by 90 combatants and was mostly active in the 1980s, giving "protection" to the large emerald dealers of the country.

Alias Name Note
"Nicolas" Killed in 2008.[6]

20th Front[edit]

This front was composed by up to 190 combatants and operates in the Bolívar Department,[7] Cesar, Santander, and Norte de Santander Departments. According th the government, In 2012, the Front was "composed by 7 members".[8] On April 12, 2013, the leader of the front, alias Fabián Brazo surrender to the military. On April 24, alias Amalia, member of the front, is captured. After this two captures, the 20th front is declared by the Colombian authorities, almost dismantled.[9]

Alias Name Note
Dumar o Chatarra Front leader.[8]
Leonardo Patiño Nestor Arturo Hincapié Killed in 2006.[10]
Ernesto 45 Nelson Sierra Rivera Killed in 2004.[11]
Diomedes, El Guajiro José del Carmen Hoyos Macías Arrested in September 2010.[12][13]
  • Includes the 29 de Mayo Company, which was also under the leadership of Ernesto 45.

23rd Front[edit]

Also known as the Policarpa Salavarrieta Front, it is composed by up to 60 combatants and operates mostly in the Santander Department and Boyacá Department. Its leader, who also commanded the 11th front, was killed in combat in 2006. By 2012, the Front was almost dismantled, with 5 combatants forming it.[14]

Alias Name Note
"Wálter" Killed in 2006.[5]
"Nelsón" Carlos Peñalosa Medina Killed in 2005.[15]
"the Butcher of Landazuri" or "Chaparro" Carlos Iván Peña Orjuela Arrested in September 2009.[16]

24th Front[edit]

It is composed by up to 200 combatants and operates mostly in the Santander Department and the Bolívar Department. Its current leader is not known. Believed be bloc commander Pastor Alape's front. In July 2012, 4 members of the front were killed by the army, while one other was captured and one other surrender.[17]

Alias Name Note
"Iván Vargas" Jorge Enrique Rodríguez Arrested in 2004.[18] and extradited to the United States.[19]
"Rubiel Colorado" Killed in April 2010.
"Erica" Killed in April 2010.
"Dubán","Duván" Killed in April 2010.
"Pipón" Israel Díaz Hernández Arrested in April 2011.[20]

33rd Front[edit]

Also known as the Mariscal Sucre Front, it is composed by up to 250 combatants and operates mostly in the Norte de Santander Department. Eleven of its members were killed on October 10, 2011.[21] In May 10, 2012, they killed seven members of the Colombian army, near the city of Tibù.[22] Around 10 members, including the front leader, were killed on September 4 and 3 during a military operation.[23]

Alias Name Note
El Negro Eliécer[24]
"Rubén Zamora"[25]
"El Boyaco"[26] Killed in June 2010
"Danilo Garcia" Jose Epimenio Molina Front leader. Killed in September 2012.[23]

46th Front[edit]

It is composed by up to 90 combatants and operates mostly in the Santander Department. Its current leader is not known.

Alias Name Note
Fidel Romero Rafael Rojas Zuñiga Turned himself in and demobilized in 2003.[27]

South Unit[edit]

Referred to in Spanish as Unidad Sur, it operates in the Santander Department and Boyacá Department. Its current leader is unknown.

Alias Name Note
"Juan Carlos" Killed in 2006.[28]

Columns and Companies[edit]

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

Alias Name Note
"Jimmy" or "Pispo" Killed in April 2011.[29]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Department of State. "Félix Antonio Muñoz Lascarro" Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  2. ^ Segunda División Ejército Nacional. "Muerto en combate alias “Juan Carlos”" June 28, 2006. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  3. ^ Observatorio de Paz Integral. "Boletín Agosto de 2006" August, 2006. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=255039 Accessed August 26, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Fuerza Aérea Colombiana. "Sí, uno de los muertos es Walter" March 22, 2006. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  6. ^ Ejército Nacional de Colombia (2008-10-01). "Muere en combate cabecilla de las Farc". Ejército Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  7. ^ http://www.rebelion.org/docs/132833.pdf
  8. ^ a b "Hallan un mortero y munición en caleta de las Farc en Lebrija". Vanguardia.com. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "“Frente 20 de las Farc está prácticamente liquidado”". Vanguardia.com. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Fuerza Aérea Colombiana. "Murió en combates alias “Leonardo Patiño”" December 21, 2006. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  11. ^ Ejército Nacional. "Muerto el segundo del frente 20 de las Farc" September 15, 2004. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  12. ^ Capturado alias "El Guajiro", jefe del frente 20 de las Farc. Available online. Accessed September 8, 2010.
  13. ^ Policia Nacional: Capturado cabecilla del frente 20 de las farc . Available online. Accessed September 8, 2010.
  14. ^ http://www.vanguardia.com/historico/99041-atento-hallan-caleta-del-frente-23-de-las-farc-en-sucre-santander
  15. ^ Ejército Nacional. "Dado de baja cabecilla del frente 23 de las Farc en Santander" February 21, 2005. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  16. ^ "Police captures local FARC leader " February 21, 2005. Available online. Accessed September 3, 2009.
  17. ^ "4 FARC rebels killed in northern Colombia: Army". Colombia News - Colombia Reports. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  18. ^ U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. "United States Charges 50 Leaders Of Narco-Terrorist FARC" March 22, 2006. Available online Accessed July 19, 2007.
  19. ^ (Spanish) eltiempo.com Accessed November 4, 2007 Archived November 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "Cae en Floridablanca temido guerrillero de las Farc experto en explosivos". Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Archivo Digital: Noticias Principales de Colombia y el Mundo en Digital e Impreso - Noticias - ELTIEMPO.COM". eltiempo.com. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Atentado de las Farc en La Gabarra deja siete policías muertos y 11 heridos". Vanguardia.com. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "Right-hand man of FARC supreme leader killed in combat". Colombia News - Colombia Reports. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "Documento sin título". Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  25. ^ BBC Mundo. "Colombia: capturan avión venezolano" January 31, 2002. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  26. ^ "Muere en combate cabecilla de la cuadrilla 33 de las Farc" June 9, 2010. Available online. Accessed June 9, 2010.
  27. ^ Presidencia de la República. "RUEDA DE PRENSA DEL PRESIDENTE URIBE DURANTE ENTREGA DEL GUERRILLERO RAFAEL ROJAS" April 28, 2003. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  28. ^ Ejército Nacional de Colombia. "Diez guerrilleros mueren en combates contra el Ejército" June 28, 2006. Available online. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  29. ^ "Policía Nacional de Colombia.". Retrieved 16 December 2014.