The location of Jorge Briceño (Mono Jojoy), second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was allegedly determined by military intelligence personnel through a global positioning system (GPS) chip secretly implanted in a boot.
The implanting of the GPS chip was possible after authorities intercepted a communication from the guerrillas requesting special shoes for the guerrilla leader, reported Colombia's ElExpectador.com (in Spanish).
According with the version of a security agent interviewed by RCN Radio (audio in Spanish), Briceño was suffering of diabetes that affected the blood circulation in his feet which, in recent months, caused him serious sores forcing him to use special footwear.
"The Colombia Security Agency intercepted the communication from the guerrillas requesting special shoes and was able to intervene in the delivery of the boots, which were shipped to him with a GPS microchip. The device allowed establishing the precise location of Mono Jojoy," said the unnamed security official.
When the guerrilla leader received the boots did not notice the tracking system installed, which was broadcasting his position for several days. Briceño’s location was determined in a jungle area of the Macarena Mountains, Meta Department, in central Colombia.
The bombing of the rebel camp was carried out early Wednesday morning using 30 Super Tucano aircraft and 27 helicopters of the Colombian Air Force which dropped no less than 30 bombs onto the rebel camp. Briceño and 20 of his bodyguards were killed in the attack.
Following the operation the area was inspected by the army. The body of Briceño was identified through fingerprinting and personal belongings, including a brand name wristwatch, diabetes medication, and the boots. During the operation were seized 16 computers and 95 USB memory sticks belonging to the guerrillas which will be reviewed by intelligence agencies.
Briceño was 57, and his real name was Víctor Julio Suárez Rojas (aka Mono Jojoy). He was the military commander of the Eastern Bloc of the FARC and a member of the FARC Secretariat. There was a 5-million-dollar reward offered for information leading to his capture. Four people will share on that reward, reported NCR Radio.