Mystery over Costaguana killings deepens

July 16, 2013 sliabh News from RionegroUncategorized

  • Rory Black and John McCarthy
  • The Guardian, Tuesday 16th July 2012 12:06

The web of intrigue surrounding the so called “Ambush of Costguana” on the 16th of February has become more tangled. The Rionegro State Security Bureau (known as OSER from its name Oficina de Seguridad del Estado de Rionegro) which has been leading the investigation held a press conference today where they released details of a further 8 members of the alleged Patriota squad who carried out the attack which left 23 dead. These 8 are believed to be among the gunmen who carried out the assault. The announcement brings to 17 the total number of people, 4 of them women, suspected of being involved in the incident.

The attack took place in the Republicano controlled port town of Costaguana. According to the OSER a group of 8-12 gunmen were landed by sea outside the town the night before as part of a sophisticated operation being supported by a team of at least 10 agents who had been operating locally. The gunmen were put up in a safe house for the night, and the following evening they launched an ambush on a military convoy in the town which left 7 soldiers dead as well as 15 civilians. The gunmen, are reported to have suffered 6 casualties. They are believed to have fled by sea with their support team immediately after the attack.

The rival Patriota regime of General Veron, has denied any responsibility for the shootout, and has condemned the deaths of civilians which they attribute to “the wilful failure of Munoz’s Republicano regime to care for, or protect the citizens of Rionegro”. In the past week it has been reported that one of the two Columbian nationals killed in the shootout was  Javier Leyva, who may have had links to one of the drug cartels in the region. OSER officials questioned on this stated that they believe his presence and death was unrelated.

OSER has detailed a meticulous operation that took place in the hours leading up to the battle, and said the gunmen had spent less than a day in the country. At the press conference police played CCTV footage of the alleged squad travelling through Costaguana and reconnoitring the area where the ambush took place. They also released the aliases and nicknames the squad were heard to use by survivors of the ambush.

La Barba

Eliza Azul

El Martillo


El Polo


El Diablo

El Tipo Tardío

To date the OSER has not made public any conclusive evidence linking these individuals to Veron’s rival Patriota faction in the civil war. OSER said the photographs, nick names, and copies of the identity documents used by the suspects were being sent to Interpol and would be posted on the internet.

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