Captured FARC messages show success of divisive operations
Internal emails of the Colombian FARC leadership show the guerrilla organization to be plagued by divisions, poor discipline, weakened command, and distrust among commanders.
Colombia’s increasingly sophisticated counterinsurgency strategy of the past few years, and strong US support, are cited with exacerbating divisions within the FARC.
The news also shows the effectiveness of the Colombian military and police with exploiting battlefield intelligence for PSYOP purposes.
This is important, as it demonstrates the value of divisive operations in counterinsurgency.
El Espectador, a well regarded Colombian newspaper, obtained the emails recovered from a captured computer that belonged to a FARC commander killed during the Normandía II counterinsurgency operation in December 2013.
The emails are from FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, AKA Timochenko, who admitted that the group was in a “weakened state” due to internal lack of discipline and to Colombian police and military forces, as well as US support.
We haven’t been monitoring the Colombian press recently, and found this reference in the April 22 PanAm Post.
Timochenko complained of laziness among his own forces over the past decade, and of underestimating the enemy.
“Most of the hits we have received in the last 10 years show failures regarding the basic rules of guerrilla warfare, and the lack of compliance to our disciplinary norms, that most of the times reflect the lack of sacrifice, irresponsibility, settlement, arrogance, and underestimating the enemy,” Timochenko said.
The FARC leader complained of a lack of true Marxist behavior among commanders, who take material liberties at the expense of morale and of the FARC’s political image. He also criticized an apparently widespread abuse of women and summary executions not authorized by the high command.
Timochenko stated in one of the emails that the Colombian government’s “Espada de Honor plan — a state military strategy to battle the guerrilla — is working.”