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Cablegate: Top Farc Commander Killed by Colombian Army

O 202258Z OCT 03
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9805
INFO AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
AMEMBASSY QUITO
CIA WASHDC
DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
DIRONDCP WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
USCINCSO MIAMI FL

id: 11523
date: 10/20/2003 22:58
refid: 03BOGOTA9806
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: SECRET
destination:
header:
O 202258Z OCT 03
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9805
INFO AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
AMEMBASSY QUITO
CIA WASHDC
DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
DIRONDCP WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
USCINCSO MIAMI FL


----------------- header ends ----------------

S E C R E T BOGOTA 009806

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2013
TAGS: PTER PHUM PGOV PINR PINS CO
SUBJECT: TOP FARC COMMANDER KILLED BY COLOMBIAN ARMY

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR WILLIAM B. WOOD FOR REASONS
1.5 (B) AND (D)


1. (S) SUMMARY: ON OCTOBER 19, THE COLOMBIAN ARMY KILLED
EDGAR NAVARRO, ALIAS "MOCHO," DEPUTY COMMANDER OF THE FARC'S
TEOFILO FORERO MOBILE COLUMN (TFMC), ONE OF THE FARC'S MOST
ACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE UNITS. THE OPERATION TO CAPTURE
NAVARRO, WHICH ENDED WITH HIS DEATH, WAS BASED ON EFFECTIVE
USE OF TECHNICAL AND HUMAN INTELLIGENCE. NAVARRO'S DEATH IS
A MAJOR SYMBOLIC AND TACTICAL VICTORY FOR THE GOC. NAVARRO
PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN THE FEBRUARY KIDNAPPING OF THREE U.S.
CITIZEN CONTRACTORS AND MURDER OF A FOURTH, AND WAS WANTED BY
GOC JUDICIAL AUTHORITIES ON NUMEROUS CHARGES OF KIDNAPPING,
MURDER, AND TERRORISM. HIS LOSS IS A MAJOR BLOW TO THE TFMC.
END SUMMARY.

2. (S) FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, THE COLOMBIAN ARMY'S
ANTI-KIDNAPPING UNIT (GAULA) AND THE NATIONAL POLICE IN HUILA
DEPARTMENT HAD BEEN COLLECTING TECHNICAL AND HUMAN
INTELLIGENCE AGAINST THE FARC'S TFMC'S DEPUTY COMMANDER EDGAR
NAVARRO, ALIAS "MOCHO." ON OCTOBER 19, THE GAULA USED THIS
ACCUMULATED INTELLIGENCE TO LAUNCH AN OPERATION TO CAPTURE
AND ARREST HIM. DURING THE OPERATION, NAVARRO'S SECURITY
DETAIL OPENED FIRE, SPARKING A FIREFIGHT THAT KILLED NAVARRO
AND TEN OF HIS MEN. TWO CIVILIANS WERE INJURED IN THE
CROSSFIRE.

3. (S) NAVARRO'S DEATH IS A MAJOR SYMBOLIC AND TACTICAL
VICTORY FOR THE GOC. THE TFMC IS AMONG THE FARC'S MOST
ACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE ELEMENTS, OPERATING AS THE ROUGH
EQUIVALENT OF A SPECIAL FORCES UNIT. NAVARRO HAS PLAYED A
KEY ROLE IN NUMEROUS KIDNAPPINGS, MURDERS, AND TERRORIST
ATTACKS, INCLUDING A MASS KIDNAPPING AT A LUXURY APARTMENT
COMPLEX IN 2001, A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER HIJACKING, AND THE
DETONATION OF A "HOUSE BOMB" IN FEBRUARY 2003 IN NEIVA,
CAPITAL OF HUILA DEPARTMENT. NAVARRO MAY HAVE PARTICIPATED
IN THE FEBRUARY 2003 KIDNAPPING OF THREE U.S. CITIZEN
CONTRACTORS AND THE MURDER OF A FOURTH, AND IS KNOWN TO HAVE
BEEN IN CONTROL OF THE HOSTAGES FOR OVER A MONTH BETWEEN
FEBRUARY AND MARCH. AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, NAVARRO WAS IN
POSSESSION OF ONE OF THE HOSTAGE'S FIREARMS. HIS DEATH IS A
SERIOUS SETBACK FOR THE TFMC. IT WILL HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME
REPLACING NAVARRO, ESPECIALLY AS THE NATIONAL POLICE HAVE
ARRESTED SEVERAL OF HIS KEY ASSOCIATES.

4. (S) COMMENT: ALTHOUGH NAVARRO WAS NOT A SENIOR FARC
COMMANDER BY RANK, HIS INFLUENCE AND PROMINENT ROLE IN MAJOR
TERRORIST OPERATIONS MADE HIM ONE OF THE HIGHEST VALUE
TARGETS OF THE COLOMBIAN SECURITY FORCES. THE OPERATION
DEMONSTRATED EFFECTIVE USE OF ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE AND
COOPERATION BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND POLICE.


WOOD

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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