|Extra! Read all about it! Mono Jojoy is dead!|
Mono Jojoy, the FARC guerrillas' second in command, was killed yesterday in a military bombardment of his jungle encampment, according to the Colombian government.
Jojoy, whose nickname refers to a kind of worm and whose real name was Jorge Briceño Suárez, will not be missed by many Colombians. He planned many of the FARC's military attacks on army posts as well as the guerrillas' strategy of using kidnapping to press for political concessions from the government.
For the guerrillas, this is yet another demoralizing blow following the deaths in recent years of Raul Reyes, Marulanda and other leaders. Likely, this will accelerate the number of guerrillas losing hope and abandoning their ranks.
Colombia's guerrillas' demise has been announced many times, and yet they continue, kidnapping, planting land mines, killing soldiers and driving civilians from their homes. Just as the 1993 death of Pablo Escobar only temporarily slowed the drug trade, Jojoy's death will not likely cause any fundamental shift in Colombia's conflict.
Mexico's drug-charged bloodbath demonstrates that ideology is no requirement for violence. And, in any case, Colombia's 'leftist' guerrillas have lost the last of their ideology, besides the rhetoric, and are little distinguishable from plain old drug traffickers and extortion gangs.
Blog written by Mike Ceaser of Bogotá Bike Tours