The murderers of Efraín, Paúl and Javier are so aggressive that, in just one year since their emergence, they have placed themselves at the head of the dissident factions of the Colombian peace process with more attacks behind their backs. The kidnapping and death of El Comercio’s journalistic team has shocked the country and has removed the bandage from the population that still watched with distance the upsurge in violence on the border. The murderers of the journalists and the driver attack the military, trained for the confrontation, and civilians.
11% of attacks by dissidents in Colombia are attributed since June 2016, despite the fact that they appeared on the scene, according to their own communiqués, in January of last year. And they are the fourth most bloodthirsty faction. A report by the Ideas for Peace Foundation, published on Sunday and to which EXPRESO has had access, measures in detail the cruelty of its actions and draws a panorama of terror and territorial struggle that since this year has spilled over the Ecuadorian border. In the country, there are already 5% of the attacks due to the so-called dissidences, which are organized crime groups or gangs that do not agree with the peace process. Some because of political or ideological detachment and others because they do not have among their plans to give up the lucrative business of trafficking in drugs, weapons, people or illegal mining.
To prepare the report, the Ideas para la Paz Foundation conducted 88 interviews with public officials, military and police, community leaders and peasants, representatives of international organizations and the Church and ex-combatants of the FARC. Does not publish the name of any of them, for security.
All the information gathered about the consequences of the peace process in Colombia answers questions that haunt Ecuador as to who and why it attacks the border area, what interests are in the north of the country, to what extent and until when the wave of violence can spread. The picture is not encouraging:
Who are they?
- The Oliver Sinisterra Front dates its reappearance in January 2017, taking advantage of the disintegration of the Daniel Aldana mobile column and the fragmentation of the Front 29 that operated on the border between Colombia and Ecuador, as part of the FARC’s peace and end. Its intention is to reconquer the south of Colombia and the north of Ecuador for the distribution of cocaine. Although the members of Oliver Sinisterra are considered criminals and the group with less ex-FARC members, they have a certain social legitimacy, since they defend that the peace process is a deception of the Government. Walter Arízala, alias ‘Guacho’, is their leader since September 2017. He was responsible to the FARC for the finances and cocaine trafficking networks for fluvial and terrestrial routes to the Pacific Ocean from the Tumaco area (on the Colombian side ) and from Carchi and Esmeraldas, through the Mataje river that separates the two countries.
- The group resurfaced due to pressure from Colombian drug traffickers and international cartels, such as Mexicans, to continue taking coca along the coastal strip that runs from the Mira river (in Colombia) and the Mataje (in the border line). El Guacho is strongly positioned for support, with money and weapons from Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers, who offered 1.8 million Colombian pesos (660 dollars) to anyone who joined the Oliver Sinisterra Front. In addition, it takes advantage of its knowledge about the jungle region and its military capacity (expert in explosives).
Where and what do they do
- Their intention is to strengthen itself in the drug mobility corridor that the Mira and Mataje rivers represent. There they have boarding points and intelligence work on who enters and leaves. That waters its field of action from Nariño (Colombia) to Esmeraldas (Ecuador). In El Pan they have the point of origin of the cocaine produced in crystallizers on the other side of the border. The coca paste goes to Llorente’s production centers, before distribution. The starting points are between San Lorenzo (Ecuador) and Terán (Colombia). Tumaco, watered by estuaries that connect through the Pacific, is a strategic point and in dispute with other groups. There, 2017 has been the bloodiest year since 2012, with twice as many murders as in 2016.
- They reject the substitution and eradication of coca crops and face those who oppose them. They have killed for this reason and even attacked a helicopter of the Colombian National Police for destroying a drug laboratory. His control of the territory includes the forced recruitment of young people and children, the rape of women and the massive displacement of people. To enter Tumaco, you have to ask for permission.
A wound to the group
- The group of ‘Guacho’ was hit by the arrest of two allies -‘El Pollo ‘and’ El Tigre’- which aggravated the territorial struggle in Tumaco.
Risk for Ecuador
- “It will be important to observe the effects on the civilian population of the actions of the public force (police and military),” the report states. “An undesired effect will be selective violence such as kidnappings, selective assassinations and accusations for being collaborators or informants of the authorities. We already see a serious risk to the work of international organizations, humanitarian and journalists. “
The Oliver Sinisterra Front is the dissident group with fewer ex-members of the FARC.
Repertoire of attacks.
Threats, extortion, forced recruitment, selective assassinations, restriction of mobility with imposition of departure schedules and entry into sidewalks.
Of the dissidence ‘Resistencia Campesina’ and ‘Los de Sábalo’.
United Guerrillas of the Pacific and ELN.
Rejection for being “a deception of the Government” and confrontations to those who substitute coca crops.
Production and distribution of cocaine.
Outsiders in the village
At the entrance of the villages dominated by the Front Sinisterra Oliver put children to play bell ringer. If a stranger arrives in the locality, the minors warn the security circles of the armed group to come out to meet them if they advance. They are treated as strangers to all those who are not local, given the risk that they are members of groups with which the territory is disputed. (I)