Colombia has announced a $1.1 million reward for information leading to the capture of former guerrilla leader and alleged drug trafficker Victor Ramon Navarro, alias “Megateo.”
President Juan Manuel Santos said that capturing Navarro is a priority for his government, reports El Espectador. The fugitive is a longtime guerrilla commander who is now suspected of being a player in various cocaine trafficking networks in the Norte de Santander department.
“We have increased this reward to two billion pesos [$1.1 million] for whoever gives us information that leads to the capture of this bandit, who is among all that remains of the EPL [The Popular Liberation Army – Ejercito Popular de Liberacion],” Santos said. The president also announced a series of lesser rewards for information regarding illegal mining, which has become an important revenue source for organized crime in Colombia.
The EPL was one of Colombia’s biggest leftist rebel groups, but most of its forces demobilized in 1991.
Unlike many of his former comrades, Navarro did not disarm, and dedicated himself to trafficking cocaine instead of overthrowing the government.
This could be read as a warning of what might happen in the future to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC). As InSight has pointed out, if the rebels’ command is fractured, its units could break up into separate criminal groups, perhaps forming deeper alliances with the country’s other drug gangs.