Security & Strategic Review - July 2022

COLOMBIA: ‘Gentil Duarte’ killed in Venezuela

Dissident forces of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group lost another talisman on 4 May, when Miguel Botache Santillana (‘Gentil Duarte’) was killed in Venezuela’s Zulia state. Duarte had an outsized influenced over the dissident Farc, having led a campaign to unite disparate factions into something resembling the original guerrilla group that demobilised in 2017. Whilst those efforts were never fully realised, Duarte did manage to unite the dissident 1st and 7th Farc Fronts along the Venezuelan border. He also appears to have secured a looser alliance with at least nine other dissident factions. Whether that unity can now be maintained will depend on the leadership of Duarte’s successor, who appears to be Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández (‘Iván Mordisco’).

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