US Offers $10 Million for Arrest of Two FARC Dissidence Leaders

US Offers $10 Million for Arrest of Two FARC Dissidence Leaders

By Steven McLoud/Diálogo
July 30, 2020

The United States announced new rewards for up to $10 million for the arrests of two prominent dissident leaders of of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish).

The announcement was made on June 18 by both the U.S. State Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Luciano Marín, alias Iván Márquez, and Seuxis Paucias Hernández, alias Jesús Santrich.

Márquez is a member of the FARC’s dissidence Secretariat, which is the rebel group’s highest leadership body, while  Santrich is with the FARC’s dissidence Central High Command, considered their second-highest group. Both men were key figures in Colombia’s historic peace process but have since picked up arms again and are alleged to have participated in corrupt and violent narco-terrorist acts with high-ranking regime officials of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

“DEA and our partners are committed to dismantling narco-terrorist organizations such as the FARC, and the corrupt political regimes that support them,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea. “For decades, the FARC has used drug trafficking to finance their terrorist activities and partnered with corrupt Venezuelan elites to threaten [the] United States and our allies.”

U.S. government officials allege that both men collaborated with the Venezuelan drug-trafficking organization Cártel de Los Soles, which is comprised of high-ranking Maduro regime officials, to send large shipments of cocaine to the United States. Márquez and Santrich were among those charged on March 26, when the U.S. indicted Maduro and 14 members of his regime on narco-terrorism and other charges.

In 2018, Márquez was jailed in Colombia after prosecutors in New York ordered his arrest on drug charges. A month after Colombia’s Supreme Court ordered his release while the charges were being investigated, Márquez fled and didn’t resurface until a year later when he appeared in a video along with Santrich. Both men appeared on the video wearing their olive-green FARC dissidence uniforms alongside a small crew of dissidents, accusing Colombia’s government of failing to uphold the peace accord.

Colombian officials allege Maduro is providing them shelter.

“We hope these increased rewards will encourage those with valuable information to contact the DEA and, ultimately, bring to justice those seeking to harm the United States and betray the citizens of Venezuela,” said Shea.