Timochenko Sentenced in Absentia

By Dialogo
December 09, 2011

A Colombian court has upheld a 27-year-and-three-month prison sentence imposed in absentia in 2010 on the FARC’s highest-ranking leader for the 2001 kidnapping of a former member of Congress.

The decision also covered Luciano Arango, alias “Iván Márquez,” and Milton de Jesús Toncel, alias “Joaquín Gómez,” (members of the terrorist organization’s top leadership), in addition to Víctor Mahecha, Javier Quintero Artunduaga, and Ferley Quintero Artunduaga.

The ruling found them responsible for aggravated kidnapping for purposes of extortion and rebellion, in relation to the kidnapping of Consuelo González as she was travelling to Neiva, the capital of the department of Huila, in September 2001.

After being held for almost seven years, the former member of Congress was released in January 2008 through the mediation of former senator Piedad Córdoba and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

The initial conviction handed down in February 2010 by the court, and upheld by another court in the same city, covered the FARC’s ideologist and highest-ranking leader at that time, Guillermo León Sáenz, alias Alfonso Cano.

Cano was killed on November 4 in a military operation in the southwestern part of the country and was succeeded by “Timochenko,” whose real name is Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry.

Timochenko was the commander of the Middle Magdalena bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a communist guerrilla group, with around 800 guerrillas under his command in northeastern Colombia. He is considered a forceful leader of the group’s military wing and an intelligence expert.