He was killed by his former colleagues in Venezuela, where alias Gentil Duarte, one of the most wanted criminals in Colombia, had taken refuge. The visible head of one of the two FARC dissidents, died in a camp located in Zulia state, on the other side of the border of his native country, along with his sentimental partner, according to information to which the magazine has had access. Colombian ‘Week’. An undetermined number of guerrillas who accompanied them were also reportedly killed or wounded. But establishing the figure will not be easy due to the silence that the Chavista authorities always maintain in these cases.

What is known so far is that the murder would have been committed by the other FARC guerrilla, led by Iván Márquez and baptized as La Nueva Marquetalia. “The soft treads” – elite group of said cartel – entered the camp at the beginning of May, installed an explosive in Gentil Duarte’s tent and blew it up on May 4, facts that are only now coming to light .

Miguel Botache Santillana, alias Gentil Duarte, 56, joined the FARC at 17. He had been born in Florencia, Caquetá, in a peasant household. He soon climbed the chain of command and, in 1998, he was already one of the most trusted men of Manuel Marulanda, alias Tirofijo, founder of the terrorist group. He had nine arrest warrants for terrorism, drug trafficking, homicide, kidnapping and extortion, in addition to being responsible for the recruitment of minors.

Guerrilla fighter of great fortune, amassed with businesses stained with blood. He owns, among other assets, farms in the department of Guaviare, in eastern Colombia, which he put in the name of figureheads.

It should be remembered that the head of Gentil Duarte’s assassins, Commander Iván Márquez, a close ally of Nicolás Maduro, was the FARC’s chief negotiator in Cuba and the person who sealed the peace agreement with Juan Manuel Santos in 2016. Gentil Duarte, then a prominent commander, also participated in the negotiations but soon distanced himself and was the first to form a new FARC-EP with his partner ‘Iván Mordisco’, the true brains of an armed group that has enormous power in coca-growing areas of Colombia. .

Both Márquez and Gentil moved freely in Venezuela due to the ties they established with the Miraflores government, accomplices in drug trafficking and the exploitation of gold mines. Everything was running smoothly until the two criminal gangs got involved in a bloody war for control of important areas in Colombia. Maduro sided with Márquez and the ELN, the other guerrilla group that also wanted to annihilate Gentil Duarte’s FARC. Since then he has suffered huge losses on both sides of the border.

Last February, a large group of Duarte’s guerrillas had to return to Colombia, pushed by the Venezuelan military and, in a bombardment by the Colombian Armed Forces, they lost twenty-seven members. One of the casualties was Commander Ernesto, whom this newspaper had interviewed in Venezuela a few days earlier.

Although he knew of the risk of returning to Maduro’s country, Gentil Duarte was forced to cross the border due to the constant harassment of the Colombian police and military. They had been hot on their heels for months and he thought that he would be safer in the refuge offered by his lieutenant alias ‘John Mechas’ in Zulia.

In addition to Duarte, Jesús Santrich, Romaña, ‘El Paisa’ and ‘El Loco Iván’, all key commanders of the Nueva Marquetalia, were also assassinated in Venezuela.

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