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Dissidence of Colombian Guerrillas Penetrate the Venezuelan Amazon

Former combatants of what was the largest guerrilla in Latin America - who separated from the peace agreement signed in 2016 - are in a process of transition and rearrangement of criminal structures, where illicit drug trafficking and illegal mining continue to be the main focal points, now in Venezuelan territory. They have met with indigenous peoples and communities in Amazonas to formalize their presence in the territory, affirming that they have the support of the Venezuelan Government. But they also move to lands of the Orinoco Mining Arc, where they even control coltan mines.

2/11/2018 2:00:44 PM

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His real name is Miguel Díaz Sanmartin, but everyone knows him as "Julián Chollo", his alias from when he joined the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 1996, when he was just 20 years old. If it were not for his strong accent and the olive uniform without insignia that he wears even after having separated from the peace agreement signed by the guerrilla group in November 2016 with the Government of Juan Manuel Santos, he would seem one of the natives of the Venezuelan Amazon, a state bordering with Colombia, where Julian controls everything that goes in, is produced and comes out of the illegal gold mines devouring the heart of Yapacana National Park.

Despite of the security force that follows him everywhere, Julian is perceived as a "lone wolf", which, in addition to his career as a former guerrilla, helped him generate fear and respect among those who know him or have just heard about him.