Seven FARC Guerrillas Killed in Southern Colombia
By Dialogo April 13, 2011
In the jungle department of Caquetá (in southern Colombia) on 10 April, Colombian Army troops killed seven alleged FARC guerrillas, including one who participated in the kidnapping of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, the authorities announced.
The Army indicated that ‘alias Diomédez’ died together with six rebels from Front 15 of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, a Marxist group), in armed clashes with troops from the land combat battalion of the Twelfth Brigade in the jungle municipality of Milán.
“Alias Colacho, the second-ranking leader of the illegal armed structure, and alias Diomédez, in charge of the terrorist redoubt’s finances and suspected of participation in the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, died at the site,” a statement by the military indicated.
Betancourt, who was taken hostage on 23 February 2002, was held by the guerrilla group for more than six years and freed together with fourteen other hostages in a bloodless military operation in July 2008.
The Army highlighted the fact that the troops seized eight rifles, abundant military ammunition, and administrative and communications material, among other items, at the site of the fighting.
The FARC has been engaged in armed struggle against the Colombian state for forty-six years and has around eight thousand fighters, according to official estimates.
Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera recently said that the Army killed 53 FARC guerrillas in March, while 90 others were taken prisoner and 85 deserted from the rebel ranks.