The first of September, year 2000, three companies of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia attacked the military base of Montezuma hill in Pueblo Rico, over the mountainous area of Tatamá, between the departments of Chocó and Risaralda. The attack was executed by 180 guerrillas of the 9, 47, and Aurelio Rodriguez fronts, belonging to the then known as José María Córdoba Northwestern Bloc. Two commanders lead that attack, Rubín Morro, Martín Cruz Vega, of the Aurelio Rodríguez front, and Gadafi or Khadafi, Hernán Gutiérrez Villada, of the 47 front.
The guerrillas took half the base and held up with various ambushes the reinforcement of soldiers coming up the highway. The ghost plane crashed early in the morning against the Tatamá hill. In one of those ambushes the lieutenant colonel Jorge Eduardo Sánchez died, commander of the Battalion San Mateo en Pereira. That was one of the highest rank casualties that the Farc caused upon direct combat with military forces, six years before they had killed the major general Carlos Julio Gil Colorado, but his death didn't occur due to military operation, rather due to an assasination.
That story never told before was written by Camilo Alzate in a war report two decades after the war. Alzate travelled to the region, climbed the mountain multiple times, and talked with retired military vets, seasoned journalists, and pobladores of the hill, with politicians and neighbors of Puerto Rico who, for different motives, had been left trapped in combat or knew of its circumstances. Someone from the guerrilla who participated in the attack told the journalist crucial details of the operation and chronicle -which is long and full of obstacles, bogged down, crossed with confused and confusing voices- it appeared in the 2017 May edition of Universo Centro
with a title I perceive as excessively pretentious, alegorical, and biblical: "The burning bush".
In 2017 I met Gadafi in a guerrila camp. We talked every afternoon in his safehouse, while outside troops formed or broke ranks, argued or reconciled, threshed the mud or cleaned it, during what felt like an eternity without any shooting or anything interesting going on. Gadafi, afflicted by years of cardiac pain, passed those days reclined, ambushing with his pillows an annoying green light that infiltrated through the slits of his safehouse, which provoked drunk-like dizzyness. To his side he always had a walky talky and a black 9mm. It was inPost too long. Click here to view the full text.