ColombiaOne.comColombia newsViolence Intensifies in Cauca, After Attack by FARC Dissidents

Violence Intensifies in Cauca, After Attack by FARC Dissidents


Violencia Cauca disidencias FARC
FARC dissidents cause attack in Cauca, where violence increases – Credit: Twitter @Mindefensa

Violence Returns to Colombia’s Cauca Department Following an attack attributed to the Central Staff (EMC), a faction of the dissident FARC group, violence has returned to the Cauca Department in Colombia. The attack occurred in the Timba district, Buenos Aires municipality, in the Colombian Pacific region. A car bomb attack on a police station resulted in 2 fatalities and 5 others with varying degrees of injuries.

The deceased, who have already been identified, were a man and a woman from Jamundi, a municipality on the outskirts of Cali. Additionally, there was damage to property, including broken windows and other private property damage.

Repudiation and Increased Military Presence

President Petro condemned the act and directly attributed it to the EMC. The Head of State linked the attack to the government’s efforts to eradicate coca crops in the area, which would impact the illegal armed group’s finances.

“The actions of the EMC in Cauca are their response to our offensive in the Micay Valley, where 70% of Cauca’s coca leaf is produced. Our objective remains the same. Micay Valley will serve as an example of how to replace an illicit economy with a legal one in favor of farmers,” the president wrote on his social media, adding that he had ordered “an even greater military and police presence in Cauca, without ceasing to fully recover the Micay Valley, with this objective as a priority.”

Following the attack, a group of armed men, identified by authorities as EMC members, harassed the police. The military forces had to assist the police, and the president of the country ordered an increased military presence in the territory.

Defense Minister Visits the Area

Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez also traveled to the area to visit the population and get firsthand information about the situation. During this visit, the minister condemned the attack and expressed the state’s commitment to pacification and territorial control of the region.

“We have reiterated the offensive operation, and this will not end until absolute control of the territory is consolidated. Regardless of the actions carried out by the criminal organization EMC, the military forces will not retreat from that purpose,” the minister stated.

Violencia Cauca disidencias FARC
Defense minister visits site of the attack- Crédito: Twitter @Mindefensa

Furthermore, the minister announced a security meeting with the president to analyze the situation, referring to the attack as “homicidal behavior.” Velásquez criticized the EMC for its actions, stating that “it is intolerable to preach peace, propose a ceasefire, and carry out actions of this nature.”

Blow to Dialogue with the State

The attack in Timba occurred just one day after the government and this dissident group, which broke away from the Havana Accords signed with the now-defunct FARC in 2016, announced the installation of a dialogue table for October 8th in Tibú, Norte de Santander Department, in the Catatumbo region.

It was planned that, starting from that date, a bilateral ceasefire between the Colombian state and the EMC would begin and last for 10 months, which is now in doubt.

In addition to the attack, there has been a notable increase in armed actions by this illegal group in the Cauca region in recent days, causing fear among the population. Just a week ago, the same group carried out armed incursions in various localities in the region, even firing at a military helicopter.

Cauca has historically been a complex region in terms of security, with violence being a persistent phenomenon, as the National Liberation Army (ELN) also operates in the area. Currently, the ELN has a ceasefire with the state, which had led to a significant decrease in violence, but which now seems to be reversing due to the actions of the FARC dissident group.

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