Colombia and Ecuador did not confirm until yesterday afternoon data on the possible whereabouts of Walter Arizala, aka Guacho, who was wounded early Saturday in an operation in Colombian territory.
Colombia’s defense minister, Guillermo Botero, said Saturday there were clashes in an area of Nariño department, in the southwest of the country, in which Guacho would have been seriously injured. The dissident is wanted for the kidnapping and murder of the El Comercio team and a couple.
The official said on Twitter that the dissident received two rifle hits “with which our commandos managed to affect this offender” and added that the military continues to cordon off the area to find its location.
Colombian media reported on military forces intensifying the controls, with the displacement of personnel to the area where Guacho would be.
The operatives and confrontations are supported with Navy launches and helicopters with artillery. In those actions a member of the Navy died, the AP said.
On the Ecuadorian side, Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin ruled out that irregular criminal groups advance towards Ecuador. However, he said that the military is always on alert and prepared.
“In the first place, we must consider that they are not conventional forces so that they can be pressured and that they go to Ecuador, there is no possibility, they are irregular groups that act in isolation,” he said.
In a press conference, Jarrin said that the narco-guerrillas are moving from Tumaco (Colombia) to the north of that country and confirmed that alias Guacho is injured and the “Candado” operation, developed by the Colombian military forces, will allow “to define the situation in a concrete, exact and definitive way, “said Jarrín.
He reported that the number of Ecuadorian troops in the area remains at 4,300, only for the Joint Task Force (FTC), which operates from Esmeraldas.
In addition, the Ministry of Defense is in constant coordination with the Ministry of the Interior, the troops remain alert with the detachments and the patrol and the contingency strategies are ready to be applied.
“In the last circumstances what has been done is, within the same Force, to carry out the reinforcements, that is, a direct responsibility of the FTC Command, in full coordination and information of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces … The FTC commander is the one who is taking the necessary measures to reinforce, with the personnel available … “, he said.
He said that the task includes intensifying the surveillance, protection and recognition of the different points. (I)