A military operation targeting ex-FARC dissidents, former members of the FARC guerrilla group that refused to demobilize following a peace deal reached in 2016, was carried out on Wednesday, June 13, in the northeastern department of Arauca. According to the military, 16 militants were killed and weaponry was seized in the operation, which took place in the Fortul municipality. The targeted faction, led by a leader known as “Burro,” has now reportedly been dismantled. The group was believed to have allied with local factions of the ELN guerrilla group to control drug trafficking routes in the east of the country.
Similar operations targeting ex-FARC dissidents were carried out on May 28 in the southern department of Caquetá (11 militants killed and two captured in La Montañita municipality) and June 5 in the southwestern department of Nariño (six militants killed in Tumaco municipality).
Various armed groups are active in Colombia, including ex-FARC dissidents (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and a dozen other organized crime groups (BACRIM) in addition to the ELN guerrilla group (Ejército de Liberación Nacional).
Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including drug cartels, right-wing militias, local gangs, the ELN, and ex-FARC dissidents - some Western governments advise against travel to various regions of the country, including much of Arauca, Nariño, and Caquetá.