BOGOTA – Colombian security forces seized an arms cache from a dissident FARC faction that refused to accept the peace deal with the government and planned attacks in the central province of Meta, the armed forces said Wednesday.
The weapons, found in the city of Vista Hermosa, included 16 rifles, 39 grenades and other gear, the armed forces said in a statement.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government signed an agreement on Nov. 24, 2016, ending the 52-year-old armed conflict in the South American country.
Small groups of rebels, however, refused to accept the agreements, were expelled by the FARC and linked up with gangs to protect their drug trafficking operations.
Officials suspect that the weapons found in Meta were to be used in recruitment efforts by FARC dissidents engaged in crimes such as kidnappings and extortion rackets, as well as attacks on residents, the armed forces said.
Military intelligence services have identified the leader of the dissident FARC group as Miguel Botache Santillana, who was expelled by the FARC.
The guns, ammunition and explosives seized were destroyed.