“El Comandante Gringo” has taken charge of FARC dissident group “Frente Oliver Sinisterra” (FOS) after the death of founding commander “Guacho,” Colombia’s media reported based on police sources.
The real name of El Comandante Gringo, a.k.a. “Fabian,” is Carlos Arturo Landazuri, who is wanted in Ecuador since July.
Guacho was killed in a military operation in the southwestern Nariño province, the FOS’ disputed stronghold, last week.
According to the reported police sources, Guacho’s right-hand-man was already in charge of the rogue guerrilla group’s military operations and drug trafficking activities in the border region after the arrest of Guacho’s initial finance chief “Cachi” in March.
Comandante Gringo allegedly is another founding member of the FOS who, together with Guacho and Cachi would have been recruiting demobilized FARC members in the southwestern Nariño province.
The three were members of the FARC’s “Daniel Andana Front” that operated near the Tumaco port until they abandoned the peace process with the FARC and rearmed two years ago.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, Comandante Gringo was born in July 31, 1994 and is wanted by Ecuadorean authorities on terrorism and organized crime charges.
The new FOS chief allegedly is responsible for the kidnapping of an Ecuadorean couple and attacks on Ecuadorean security forces earlier this year.
Groups like the FOS have sprung up across Colombia amid mayor state failures to execute the peace process with the FARC or guarantee basic security in former guerrilla-controlled territory.
The FOS was estimated to have formed with 80 rearmed fighters, but is believed to have grown after the desertion of more FARC members from their reintegration camps.
The group is fighting over control of western Nariño with the military and a handful of rival guerrilla and paramilitary groups.
Illegal armed groups active in western Nariño
- Frente Oliver Sinisterra (FOS)
- National Liberation Front (ELN)
- Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC)
- United Pacific Guerrillas (GUP)
- Gente del Orden
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