FARC dissidents

FARC dissidents (Spanish: Disidencias de las Farc), also known as Carlos Patino Front,[6] refers to a group, formerly part of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who have refused to lay down their arms after the Colombian peace process came into effect in 2016, or resumed their insurgency afterwards.[1] In 2018, the dissidents numbered some 2,000,[7][8] to 2,500,[3] armed combatants with an unknown number of civilian militia supporting them. The FARC dissidents have become "an increasing headache" for the Colombian armed forces, as they have to fight them, the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the Clan del Golfo at the same time.[7]

FARC dissidents
Dates of operation2016–present
Political positionFar-left
Preceded by

FARC dissidents have been responsible for several attacks on the Colombian armed forces.[9][10][11] These fighters are believed to be heavily involved in the production and sale of cocaine.[12] In June 2020, it was revealed that the presence of FARC dissidents in northern Antioquia instigated a direct armed conflict with the Clan del Golfo known as Operation Mil.[13]


Leadership and membershipEdit

FARC dissidents have been led by former mid-level commanders such as alias Gentil Duarte, alias Euclides Mora, alias Jhon 40, alias Giovanny Chuspas and alias Julián Chollo. The group has attempted to recruit locals in the Putumayo Province in Colombia to take up their cause.[14] On October 15, 2020, Colombian President Iván Duque announced that a FARC dissent member known by the alias of "Cabuyo" was now the head of the FARC dissents.[2]


Dissidents of FARC's 1st Front are located in the eastern plains of Colombia. Jhon 40 and their dissident 43rd Front moved into the Amazonas state of western Venezuela where they can operate with Colombian allies. Venezuela has served as the primary location for many FARC dissidents.[3] Other dissidents hide in the mountains north of Medellín.[1] In 2018, Cabuyo was reported to be based in the north of Antioquia.[15]

Aims and ideologyEdit

Despite claiming to still follow the Leftist ideology of FARC, many dissidents are more motivated in their continuing struggle against the government by their inability to reintegrate into civilian society, a desire to protect themselves from other paramilitary or crime groups, and criminal connections. Dissident groups would become part of the rivalries between the different drug cartels, allying with some and fighting against others.[1]


FARC dissidents arrested in Putumayo, Peru during Operation Armageddon

On 15 July 2018, the Colombian and Peruvian governments launched a joint military effort known as Operation Armageddon to combat FARC dissidents. Peru issued a 60-day state of emergency in the Putumayo Province, an area bordering both Colombia and Ecuador. On the first day alone, more than 50 individuals were arrested in the operation, with the majority being Colombian nationals, while four cocaine labs were dismantled.[14]

On 28 July 2019, during the XXV São Paulo Forum hosted in Caracas, Nicolás Maduro declared that the FARC-EP dissidents leaders Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich were "welcome" in Venezuela and to the São Paulo Forum.[16]

On 26 June 2020, Clan del Golfo and FARC dissidents were confirmed to be in a direct armed conflict in northern Antioquia known as Operation Mil.[13] The Clan del Golfo, which dispatched 1,000 of its paramilitaries from Urabá, southern Córdoba and Chocó, hopes to remove FARC dissent from northern Antioquia and take control of the entire municipality of Ituango.[13]

On 21 March 2021, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela launched a large-scale military operation against FARC dissidents in Apure, Venezuela. The 2021 Apure clashes has resulted in the mass displacement of over 5,000 civilians to Colombia.[17]

On 25 May 2022, Colombian and Venezuelan intelligence officials confirmed the death of Miguel Botache Santillana, alias Gentil Duarte, the top leader of the FARC dissidents.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nicholas Casey; Federico Rios Escobar (18 September 2018). "Colombia Struck a Peace Deal With Guerrillas — but Many Return to Arms". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b Castillo, Cynthia Vargas (October 15, 2020). "Duque asks commanders of the Public Force to capture or kill alias Otoniel". RCN Radio. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Venezuela: A Mafia State?. Medellin, Colombia: InSight Crime. 2018. pp. 3–84.
  4. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Some 1,900 Colombian guerrillas operating from Venezuela, says Colombia military chief". Reuters.
  5. ^ Turkewitz, Julie (2 April 2021). "5,000 Flee as Venezuela Launches Largest Military Campaign in Decades". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "At least 14 rebels killed in fighting with Colombian army". Reuters. 18 April 2021.
  7. ^ a b Cali, Casa Editorial El País. "Disidencias de las Farc, un 'blanco' cada vez más grande para las Fuerzas Armadas".
  8. ^ "Disidencias de las Farc contarían con 1.200 hombres - ELESPECTADOR.COM". 20 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Un ataque perpetrado por disidentes de las FARC dejó a 6 policías heridos en Colombia".
  10. ^ "Policía murió en ataque atribuido a disidencia de FARC en Meta - Noticias Caracol". 25 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Dos policías muertos en ataque donde opera disidencia de las FARC". 4 March 2018.
  12. ^ "La historia de 'Gentil Duarte', el disidente de las Farc más buscado del país". El Espectador. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  13. ^ a b c "Disidencias despliegan "comando antiparamilitar" en el norte de Antioquia". 27 June 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Peru arrests more than 50 in anti-drug bust at Colombian border". Reuters. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  15. ^ Alsema, Adriaan (March 3, 2018). "Who are leading the FARC dissident groups and where". Colombia Reports. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  16. ^ "Maduro dice que Iván Márquez y Jesús Santrich "son bienvenidos" a Venezuela". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 2019-07-28. Retrieved 2021-04-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Turkewitz, Julie (2 April 2021). "5,000 Flee as Venezuela Launches Largest Military Campaign in Decades". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Alias 'Gentil Duarte' habría muerto víctima de un atentado en Venezuela". Caracol Radio (in Spanish). 25 May 2022.