Entries in Alfonso Cano (1)


FARC Leader Killed in Colombian Military Campaign

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BOGOTA, Colombia) -- Colombian officials killed the leader of the country's largest rebel group in an attack on Friday.

Government officials confirmed that Alfonso Cano, the leader of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was killed in a military raid in Colombia's Cauca state.

According to BBC News, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said a gun battle erupted after government forces conducted their operation in Colombia's south-west mountains. Cano and several members of the rebel group were killed.

The 63-year-old leader, who ascended to power in 2008 following the death from a heart attack of leader Manuel Marulanda, was tracked down by security forces to the mountainous region using telephone interceptions. BBC reports that pictures of Cano's body was broadcast on national television and President Juan Manuel Santos spoke about the death in a televised address.

"It is the most devastating blow that this group has suffered in its history," said President Santos. "I want to send a message to each and every member of that organization: demobilize... or otherwise you will end up in a prison or in a tomb. We will achieve peace."

The Colombian military forces have killed several FARC leaders over the last 10 years when it began an aggressive campaign against the left-wing rebel group. The death of Cano, whose birth name was Guillermo Leon Saenz, has weakened the group which has been involved in the four-decade Colombian civil war.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio