'El Guacho,' the leader of the Colombian dissident armed group responsible for the kidnap and murder of three El Comercio newspaper staff and a young couple from Ecuador earlier this year, has been injured during a military operation in rural Tumaco, near the border.
El Guacho, real name Walter Patricio Arizala, was shot in the back on Saturday, according to military reports from Colombia. Security forces of the South American country have now launched an operation to locate and arrest him.
Guacho is believed to be leader of the Oliver Finisterra Front, which claims to have split from the mainstream FARC when the latter demobilized under the peace agreements with the Colombian government.
“Military and police forces inform us that Guacho was hurt this morning and the military and police forces are now enclosing the area in which he was hurt so they can find him,” said Colombian President Ivan Duque.
“Guacho’s party is over. I met with the police and army higher commands and I gave very clear instruction on how we should move forward to dismantle that bloc that calls itself ‘Oliver Sinisterra’ and its head, ‘El Guacho.'"
Navy subofficer Luis Alfredo Oquendo was killed during the operation.