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Friday, March 07, 2008

Ivan Rios, FARC's Secretariat member, bites the dust

It's getting lonelier at the top; Another dead FARC terrorrist in less than a week:

Colombia says kills another FARC rebel leader
top commander of Colombia's biggest rebel group was killed in the second major blow to the left-wing insurgency's leadership in less than a week, the government said on Friday.

Ivan Rios, the youngest man on the seven-member secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and considered key to the group's future, was shot dead in Colombia's northwestern coffee-producing region.
...
Rios, a protege of aging FARC supreme leader Manuel Marulanda, was in charge of reorganizing FARC operations hit hard by the government's U.S.-backed military offensive.

"This is a severe blow to morale of the FARC, which never lost a top leader before Reyes was killed last weekend," said Pablo Casas at the Bogota think-tank Security & Democracy. "If the government keeps up the pressure and the FARC keeps losing people like this, it is going to left brainless."
Rios, whose real name was Manuel Munoz Ortiz, was killed in a rural zone 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of the capital Bogota, and he was a friend of Hugo,
Rios had been reportedly living in Venezuela, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said in January.

He was believed to have been a go-between with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who this year received six hostages released by the FARC.

Venezuelan media reported that Chavez had met Rios and other FARC leaders on November 2 last year to arrange the hostage release.
On an unrelated incident, BBC World News reported on TV that today "a few shots were fired into the air in the Venezuela/Colombia border area but the situation has been resolved."

UPDATE
In case you're still worrying about a Venezuela war against Colombia, you better make sure the taxi drivers aren't blocking the road to the border.

UPDATE, Saturday 8 March
Daniel notices that,
It was the body guards of Ivan who killed their boss to cash the bounty. And they sent to the army as a safe conduct the severed right hand of Ivan, his computer and his ID papers.
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