Gentil Duarte’s Master Plan to Reunite Colombia’s FARC Dissidents by Maria Alejandra Navarrete Forero - InSight Crime
FARC dissident commander Miguel Botache Santillana, alias “Gentil Duarte,” is leading a movement to unite Colombia’s former FARC fighters into a single fighting force — and he may well succeed.
More than 1,000 fighters in Colombia and Venezuela are currently under the command of Duarte, who began his unification project almost a year after the signing of a historic peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC).
In October 2017, Duarte held a summit in a rural area of El Retorno in Colombia’s Guaviare department where he presented the idea of forming a new force of between 6,000 and 8,000 fighters by 2019. He initially sought to expand the block of dissidents to the east and south, but was soon looking further afield to the Catatumbo region and the Pacific.
Taking advantage of his popular support and leadership within the FARC prior to its dissolution, Duarte started calling on dissident commanders and sent emissaries across Colombia to speak on his behalf…