Colombian Rebel Leader Killed In Military Airstrike

By Dialogo
February 08, 2010

What is happening is something awful. Things should be settled peacefully. It will go down in history as something very tragic if they have to kill one another, which is what concerns me. I think peace is the best road to follow. Let’s move on and ask God for mercy on us as this is not a time for battles but for peace. FARC are terrorists. Long live the army of Colombia. Long live Uribe. We plan to exterminate those terrorists. Liberate all of those children they have fighting. FARC are terrorists. The leader of one of the units of Colombia's largest rebel insurgency was killed in a military airstrike on his camp, the army said in a statement. The commander of the 51st Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Pedro Alfonso Vargas Marin, was killed in Friday's bombardment in a rural area outside the central town of La Uribe, a traditional rebel stronghold along the border between Cundinamarca and Meta provinces. At least three other guerrillas were reportedly killed at the camp. The army said the 40-year-old Vargas Marin, alias "Yerminson," entered the FARC's ranks in 1985 and was trusted by the guerrilla group's secretariat, or top command, adding that as head of the 51st Front he was part of the "innermost security ring of the terrorist Mono Jojoy (Jorge Briceño Suarez, the organization's top military commander)." Vargas Marin was one of the top leaders "in charge of re-taking Cundinamarca province" and "carrying out kidnappings, extortion and terrorist attacks in the city of Bogota." On Wednesday, 12 FARC guerrillas were killed in another airstrike in a jungle area outside the southern town of Puerto Rico, Caqueta province. The target of that attack was the FARC's Teofilo Forero mobile column and authorities said that among the fatalities was the girlfriend of that division's commander, alias "El Paisa." On Tuesday, military units in the central province of Tolima carried out an airstrike on members of the security detail of FARC chief Alfonso Cano, killing at least three rebels, according to the commander of the army's 6th Brigade, Col. Julio Cesar Prieto. The FARC, which was founded in 1964, is now thought to have around 8,000 fighters and operates across a large swath of this Andean nation. President Alvaro Uribe's administration has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained billions of dollars in U.S. aid for counterinsurgency operations.
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