Colombian FARC dissident leader David Segura killed in coca drug region | News | DW | 09.09.2018
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Colombian FARC dissident leader David Segura killed in coca drug region

The rebel leader who refused a 2016 peace deal has been reported killed, together with his sister. Their group is accused of crimes including murder, drug trafficking and illegal mining.

Victor David Segura, known as David, was described by the Colombian president and security forces as "the most dangerous" dissident fighter who had refused to lay down his arms when others came to a peace deal in 2016.

President Ivan Duque described Segura as "the dissidents' main ringleader."

The armed forces said that Segura was killed near the port city of Tumaco in the southwest of Colombia. The area is a hub of coca plantations and fighting among armed groups aiming to control drug trafficking routes on the Pacific Ocean. His sister, Carmen, was reported killed in the same shoot-out with navy and police officers.

Read more: History will not be forgotten in Colombia

The two had led a group of about 120 former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) militants, according to security forces. The fighters, accused of murders, kidnappings, drug trafficking, illegal mining and other crimes, remained in the jungle of southern Colombia rather than relinquish their arms and partake in reintegration programs agreed to in a 2016 peace deal following more than 50 years of war.

The port city of Tumaco by the Pacific Ocean

The port city of Tumaco by the Pacific Ocean

Speaking shortly after the incident on Saturday, Duque said: "Early this morning the most dangerous kingpin in the Pacific, known by the alias David, was neutralized. He was considered the head of the so-called United Guerrillas of the Pacific." 

A reward of around $50,000 (€43,200) had been offered for information leading to David Segura's capture. Segura had been at odds with a rival group headed by well-known dissident Walther Arizala, who is accused of being behind the murders of Ecuadorean journalists in March.

Both Segura and Arizala were believed to have links to the Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa drug cartels in Mexico, according to the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, a political think tank.

Renewing peace talks?

President Duque had set a deadline of Friday to decide whether or not to resume peace talks with the 1,500 fighters of the Marxist National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group who had not entered peace talks with the FARC. He said on Saturday that he would not talk with the group until it released 17 hostages, some of them police and army personnel.

Later on Saturday, the army reported another operation had led to the deaths of three FARC militants. Two others had been captured and two young people were also detained. The group had been accused of controlling extortion payments and the collection of money from narco-traffickers.

Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine. The US said last year that the Tumaco jungle area near the border with Ecuador had 209,000 hectares of coca leaf plantations, a record.

Watch video 26:04

Juan Manuel Santos on Conflict Zone

jm/jlw (EFE, AFP)

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