The new leader of FARC Timoleon Jimenez is seen in this file photo. AFP photo
Colombia’s main Marxist militant group announced on Nov.15 that it has named a successor to its leader, who was killed in combat this month.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia designated 52-year-old Timoleon Jimenez, alias Timochenko, as the new chief on Nov. 5, a day after Alfonso Cano was killed while trying to break out of a military cordon in southwestern Colombia. The U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward for Jimenez, and Colombia’s government is offering another $2.6 million for his capture.
Comrade Timoleon Jimenez, voted in unanimously by his comrades on the Secretariat (FARC leadership), was named on November 5 as new commander” the statement, published in El Tiempo de Bogota, said. “Continuity of the Strategic Plan as such is assured until power has been taken for the people,” the text added. Timochenko, 52, was commander of the regional unit in Magdalena Medio, commanding about 800 troops. Colombian Defense Minister Carlos Pinzon, in Washington for meetings with US
officials, said Timochenko was someone “who thinks that terrorism, drug trafficking, kidnapping, the recruitment of minors and human rights violations is the alternative.”
The FARC, believed to have 8,000 members, has been at war with the government since 1964. It began a campaign of kidnappings in the mid-1980s, seizing army hostages to serve as bargaining chips for FARC prisoners. By the late 1990s, civilians and political leaders were also being snatched, winning the group greater notoriety.
Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff