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FARC dissident Walter Arizala Vernaza, alias ‘Guacho’, was discharged in a military operation
Who would have become the most wanted man by Colombia and Ecuador, following the kidnapping and murder of three members of the Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio, was killed in the jungle of Nariño.
Leer en español: Alias “Guacho”: una victoria para el gobierno colombiano
The governments of both countries offered up to 700 million pesos, about 215,000 dollars, of reward for anyone who had information of where Arizala was the ABC newspaper emphasizes.
"After having spoken with the high command in the area, with the staff of the Prosecutor's Office, we can confirm that alias ‘Guacho’ fell into an operation and that he has been shot down by Colombia's heroes," said President Ivan Duque in a statement he gave in Medellín, according to El Nuevo Diario.
According to El Tiempo, ‘Guacho’, 29, was a member of the mobile column Daniel Aldana and the 29th Front of the Farc. After the demobilization of the guerrillas, ‘Guacho’ became the front leader of Oliver Sinisterra, made up of at least 300 FARC dissidents according to the Prosecutor's Office.
‘Guacho’ gained importance in the wake of an attack in Tumaco, Colombia, in October 2017. There, eight people were killed amid protests by coca farmers against forced eradication, according to the newspaper El Colombiano.
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According to Infobae, President Iván Duque said in September that during fighting with the army alias ‘Guacho’ was wounded, but his arrest did not take place.
One of the most lamentable crimes attributed to ‘Guacho’ was the kidnapping and murder of journalist Javier Ortega, photographer Paúl Rivas, and driver Efraín Segarra, who were part of the Ecuadorian newspaper "El Comercio" on March 26.
However, in a press release, the relatives of the Ecuadorians complain about what happened
"No death is a reason for celebration. Although we recognize the work carried out by the Colombian authorities, it is regrettable that whoever claimed the kidnapping and murder of five people were killed instead of having been captured alive."
"With his death, the possibilities of accessing the information he had are also dead. Not only about what happened with Paúl, Javier and Efraín, but also with Óscar Villacís and Katty Velasco and on the links between the narco-criminal organizations and the Ecuadorian institutionalist", highlights the statement.
"The message is clear"
According to Duque, this operation sends a clear message from his government to the criminals "it is clear: we are not going to take a step back in the conviction of defending the legality, life, honor, and property of Colombians."
Podemos confirmar que cayó alias ‘Guacho’, uno de los más horrendos criminales que haya conocido nuestro país. Ha sido abatido por los héroes de Colombia. Le dije al pueblo ecuatoriano que el crimen de los tres periodistas no quedaría en la impunidad. Es un logro de todo un país. pic.twitter.com/0JcHyBrq1c— Iván Duque (@IvanDuque) 22 de diciembre de 2018
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Translated from: 'Alias “Guacho”: una victoria para el gobierno colombiano'