From Socialist Voice, November 2010

The death of Mono Jojoy

Jorge Briceño, known as Mono Jojoy, who was second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was killed in late September along with twenty rebels in an attack on a jungle base in La Macrena. The attack included thirty aircraft and twenty-seven helicopters, seven tonnes of explosives, and the military technology of the US Southern Command and the Israeli secret service, Mossad.
     Briceño had joined FARC as an illiterate teenager and went on to spend the rest of his life living and fighting in the jungle. He was a fearless and charismatic commander in a force that only a decade ago controlled half of Colombia and that remains one of the world’s strongest Marxist fighting forces. He was one of FARC’s most respected field commanders, with a legendary skill in avoiding arrest. He is credited with being behind some of FARC’s most successful attacks against the Colombian ruling classes.
     While in the seats of power in Bogotá and Washington there is much rejoicing at the killing of Briceño, and much talk of the imminent defeat of FARC, it should be remembered that the causes of the conflict in Colombia still exist.
     There is still massive inequality in Colombian society, with most wealth being concentrated within the richest 10 per cent of the population.
     Despite forty-five years of systematic state repression the popular guerrilla army still survives and maintains its challenge to the ruling class. Blood and fire, scorched earth and state terrorism have been the constant practice of the Colombian regime and its US allies in defending the interests of transnationals, stock markets, and the power of a stateless oligarchy.
     Today the FARC continues to control vast sections of the Colombian landscape and to develop its model of a new society, complete with its own infrastructure, including schools, medical care, a justice system, and pensions. Despite some setbacks and the increased offensive by the US and Colombian governments, the FARC is not defeated, and its influence is not diminishing. It continues to resist with the support it receives from the Colombian masses.

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