Colombia derails bid to attack ex-FARC rebel leader

2 min

Bogota (AFP)

Colombia has thwarted an attempted attack on the former top Marxist FARC rebel leader, Rodrigo Londono, police said Sunday.

Londono was targeted by other former guerrilla leaders who broke with the 2016 peace deal that has seen them take up civilian life.

An informant warned of the "imminent attack" against the now-president of the FARC party, also known as Timochenko, police said.

He had been staying at a farm in the town of Finlandia, police chief Oscar Atehortua told reporters.

Police tightened his personal security.

And on Saturday, they arrested two people at a roadblock who met the descriptions of suspects given by an informant, Atehortua added.

The men traded fire with police and were shot dead about a half mile (one kilometer) from the farm where Londono was, the police chief said.

The two armed men were identified as Guamby, who was with the rebel force for 17 years, and Conejo (Rabbit).

They were among supporters of a breakaway FARC faction, led by Hernan Dario Saldarriaga, that refused to accept the peace deal that ended more than five decades of civil war in Colombia.

Saldarriaga is one of three ex-guerrilla bosses who announced a new armed rebellion in Colombia in August 2019, commanded by former number two and former negotiator in peace talks, Ivan Marquez, for purported state "betrayal" of the deal.

Last year was the deadliest for ex-FARC combatants in Colombia since the former guerrilla movement signed a peace agreement with the government in 2016, the UN reported.

The total of 77 deaths in 2019 surpasses the 65 murders recorded in 2018 and the 31 in 2017.

FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, transformed itself into a political party after some 7,000 former combatants disarmed as part of the peace agreement.