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Rodrigo Londono
Image: Reuters/L. Gonzalez

Colombia thwarts bid to kill ex-FARC leader

January 13, 2020

The potential assailants received military instruction from two former FARC commanders, according to authorities. The pair of rebels vowed to return to the armed struggle last year, breaking the historic 2016 peace deal.


Colombian police have said they foiled an assassination attempt on Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko, the former top Marxist FARC rebel leader.

General Oscar Atehortua, director of the Latin American country's national police, said Sunday officers had killed two men who had plotted to take out Timochenko, a hit that had been ordered by commanders of dissident rebels who decided to return to conflict last year.

Read more: Colombia struggles to accept guerrillas' new political role

Police said an informant tipped them off with details of the plot that then led officers to intercepting and killing the pair of would-be assailants on a road between the Colombian regions of Quindio and Valle del Cauca.

Disagreements over peace accord

Timochenko, who was once tipped to become president, was the highest commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) when an historic peace agreement was struck in late 2016. He currently heads the FARC political party.

The 2016 accord gave the FARC five seats in the Senate and five more in the House of Representatives, and   helped to 52 years of conflict.

"A terrorist attack which sought to kill Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, president of the FARC political party, was prevented," Atehortua said at a press conference.

He said the potential assailants would have received military instruction in Venezuela from Ivan Marquez and Hernan Dario Velasquez, also known as "El Paisa," two former FARC commanders who said last August that they would return to the armed struggle as they felt the peace deal was ineffective.

One of the attackers killed by police had belonged to a special government unit responsible for protecting state officials and former guerrilla leaders who now take part in political activities.

jsi/cmk (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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