EL ESPECTADOR, November 23, 2022
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
A confidential document makes clear that one of the most wanted criminals, who died this year, was paying for information to keep from being captured, and that he moved around wherever he pleased in Cauca Department. Although there were 22 arrest warrants naming him, he organized a football tournament.
Ever since 2019, when FARC Dissidents murdered the Liberal Party candidate Karina García on the open road in Cauca, the man who ordered the crime, Leider Johany Noscué, known as Mayimbú, turned into one of the most wanted by the authorities. In just one day, he went from anonymity to being in all the newscasts, and there was even a reward of 1,000 million pesos (roughly USD $ 203,000 at today’s exchange rates) for information leading to his capture. However, only three years later, in June of 2022, the powerful dissident was killed in a military operation. Why did it take the Armed Forces more than three years to figure out his whereabouts? Not just because of the rugged geography of Cauca; bribes and illegal payments were involved.
That information is contained in a confidential report that the Attorney General’s Office prepared in order to analyze Mayimbú’s criminal career. The document is part of the thousands that were leaked by the collective “Distributed Denial of Secrets” and the Guacamaya Group, and EL ESPECTADOR has seen it. The “dossier” was prepared by a CTI (Technical Investigation Corps) investigator in May of this year (one month before the Dissidents’ boss was killed). It contains 11 pages of reasons why this man was so elusive. The objective was to have a judge declare him an “absent person” so that he could be tried in absentia, because “it was getting almost impossible to capture him” reads the document.
The report begins with a reminder that the Armed Forces had taken actions against Mayimbú that included infiltrating, intercepting his communications, and searches, among other operations. And in the very next paragraph, it states that there are three reasons that explain why none of those activities led to the capture of the boss of the Western Coordinating Command, a bloc of Dissidents that are operating in the southwestern part of the country, following the orders of Gentíl Duarte.
The first reason is that the communities “are simply terrified of these gangsters,” according to the document. In second place, the document notes that one additional factor is the topography in Cauca, “where it’s very easy to use the corridors and trails,” to avoid the Armed Forces. And finally, the report makes clear that Mayimbú and his Dissidents have been able to avoid the authorities by paying for information. It could be “governmental organizations” or third parties. Although the report doesn’t develop this point more thoroughly, it does give examples of the tranquility with which the man who was at that time a most wanted person was able to move around Cauca.
“In the morning of any day, you could easily see him in some town in the Municipality of Corinto, and in the afternoon, you could easily see him in Suárez, Buenos Aires, or Morales,” says the report. It’s 80 kilometers between the two first municipalities mentioned, and it’s one of the areas of the country with the greatest military presence. Besides that, the document shows that Mayimbú, on the same day, could visit his family—they all live in Corinto where he was born—and before the end of the day he could go toward other municipalities where the FARC Dissidents he was commanding have influence.
In fact, the Attorney General’s Office report points one concrete event. It was on the weekend of Labor Day of this year, between April 29 and May 1. Mayimbú was drinking alcohol in full view of the whole town in the District (corregimento) of La Playa, in Naya (Cauca). He was even accompanied by one of his trusted finance chiefs, alias Camboya. The Dissident boss, according to the report, even organized a football tournament on the main court of the community, while his security men “were all over the place, ensuring his total relaxation and tranquility,” adds the document.
After the notoriety he earned with the murder of Karina García, Mayimbú was able to strike a few more blows. For example, the murder of a handful of social leaders, like the Indigenous Governor Cristina Bautista, was attributed to him. He was also suspected in the car bombing of the Police station in Santander de Quilichao in 2019, which left three police officers dead and five injured. In all, there were 22 arrest warrants in effect for the boss of the Joint Western Command, plus millions in reward money, and a lot of expectations. But the Armed Forces could never apprehend him.
When they found him, only by the middle of 2022, the Dissident boss was killed in combat and, even though they were able to identify him by a tattoo on his arm, his body was only recovered by the authorities days later. The smoking gun that the Army found in the location of the operation was a gold-plated 9 mm. pistol engraved with the words “Majín Buu”. And in spite of the fact that prosecutors had been assigned to the area where the operation took place had some indications since May that there were public officials that sold information to Mayimbú so that he could escape the authorities, they have not been able to connect this to anyone in their investigation of these events.