Colombia’s armed forces have killed six guerrillas, including the leader of the FARC’s 37th front, reported local media Thursday.
A bombing operation near the village Cuchilla de Osos, in the northwestern department of Antioquia, has resulted in the death of FARC commander Efrain Gonzales Ruiz and five of his men. Four other insurgents were apprehended in the resulting skirmishes.
The raid was carried out early Thursday morning by at least eight “Super Tucano” aircrafts with support from the army on the ground.
Ruiz, who was also known as alias, “Pateñame,” gained infamy in late 2000 when he reportedly orchestrated the kidnapping of former minister Fernando Araujo.
This is the second major blow to the FARC’s 37th front in less than three months. Previous FARC leader Luis Enrique Benitez Cañola, alias “Silvio” or “El Frances,” and eight of his fellow guerrillas died in combat on June 6.
The 37th Front of the FARC has historically been influential in the north of Colombia, but has in recent years been pushed further south in the Bolivar department due to repeated army and paramilitary pressure.