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Ecuador News

Guacho drug gang ambushes Colombian officials, killing three, near Ecuadorian border

Members of the Oliver Sinisterra Front, led by Walter Patricio Arizala Vernaza, alias “Guacho”, gunned down three investigators from the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office Wednesday in southwest Colombia. The ambush took place 25 kilometers north of the Ecuadorian border.

The bodies of two Colombian investigators (blurred) appear outside of the truck in which they were murdered.

The victims, who were assigned to a special unit investigating the Sinisterra Front, were traveling in pickup truck near the town of Pasto when Guacho’s snipers opened fire. Following the killings, Sinisterra members pulled two of the bodies from the truck and set them and the truck on fire.

The Sinisterra Front, a break-away group of former FARC rebels turned drug-traffickers, took credit for the murders on social media where they also posted video of the crime.

The dead investigators were identified as Douglas Dimitry Guerrero, member of the National Unit Against Organized Crime; Willington Montenegro Martínez, researcher of the Colombian Anti-Explosives group; and Jair Alfonso Montenegro Galindes, investigative technician with prosecutor’s office.

The victims were returning from interviewing nearby villagers when they were attacked by Sinisterra agents using long-range rifles, posted at three positions on the road.

The Sinisterra Front has taken credit for the kidnapping and murders of three Quito journalists as well as a young Ecuadorian couple in recent months. It has also claimed responsibility for bombing a police command center in Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.