Pts. Oca 27th, 2020

Colombia: Ex-FARC leader thanks police for saving life

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, better known as “Timochenko,” thanked authorities for thwarting a plot to assassinate him.

“I am here before you today thanks to the actions of the National Police of Colombia and the army, which were always guarding my life and frustrated the assassination that was to take place against me,” Timochenko told reporters Tuesday from the Quindio region where the failed attack took place.

Director of Colombian Police Gen. Oscar Atehortua revealed Jan. 12 that officers killed two men intendimg to murder Timochenko while he was on vacation.

Timochenko said law enforcement agencies informed him about the operation after an informant tipped them off with the details of the plot.

“A few days after coming to Quindío, police authorities explained the circumstances around which the attack was going to happen and I told them I trusted them,” said the former guerrilla leader, now heads the FARC political party. “I trust institutions, the professionalism of the police and the intelligence team, which have been in charge of the task.”

According to the police, the assailants received orders to kill Timochenko from Ivan Marquez and Hernan Dario Velasquez, two FARC dissident commanders.

In August, Marquez and other notorious FARC leaders announced their intention to dessert the peace deal signed between the government and the left-wing guerrilla group in November 2016, arguing authorities failed to fulfill commitments in the treaty.

President Ivan Duque has since taken measures to increase security of former rebels.

Duque, who came to power expressing criticism of the peace deal, took office in August 2018. He replaced Juan Manuel Santos who brought to an end to five decades of war.

“I remain firm in my commitment to the peace deal in Colombia,” said Timochenko, who noted there are 12,000 former guerrilla members who have given up weapons to join civil society.