- BBC News World
The main Colombian media reported this Sunday the death of Hernán Darío Velásquez, alias “el Paisa”, one of the leaders of the FARC dissidence known as “Segunda Marquetalia”.
El Tiempo cites “very high official sources” from Colombia, while the newspaper El Colombiano does the same with “military sources” and the magazine Semana speaks of “Venezuelan sources.”
The three media agree that the guerrilla had fallen into the Venezuelan state of Apure, near the border with Colombia
The news was also released by radio stations Caracol and RCN. The newspaper El Nacional de Venezuela also brings the news but attributes it to El Tiempo.
The circumstances of what happened are not yet clear, although at least two media indicate that it was a attempt.
The governments of Colombia and Venezuela have not immediately confirmed the fact.
“El Paisa” became known for being the commander of the mobile column Teófilo Forero, one of the FARC’s most feared units.
As the leader of the Teófilo, he is singled out for several of the most bloody guerrilla attacks, which include the murder of families with a political tradition, mass kidnappings, the kidnapping and murder of officials, and planning attacks against a former minister and former president Álvaro Uribe. .
Among the criminal actions attributed to him is the kidnapping of 12 deputies from the department of Valle del Cauca in 2002. On that occasion, a group of guerrillas broke into a session of the Assembly in Cali and kidnapped the deputies.
Eleven of the 12 kidnapped were killed in 2007.
The other action was the attack in El Nogal, an exclusive club in the north of Bogotá where politicians, businessmen and personalities of the Colombian elite meet.
The night of February 7, 2003 a car bomb stationed at the club detonated a strong explosive charge that left 37 dead and 198 wounded.
“El Paisa” grew up in Medellín and his nickname is due to the fact that in Colombia those who come from the region in which that city is located are called that way.
He always had a reputation for relentlessness, which is why, when he joined the peace process in Havana in 2016, some saw him as a a sign that the guerrillas were really compromised with putting down your weapons.
In July 2018, “El Paisa” together with Iván Márquez left the place where several reinserted guerrillas had relocated after the agreement was signed.
He was not heard from until a year later, when he appeared in a video announcing the creation of the “Second Marquetalia” with Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich, the latter also deceased.
“El Paisa” was on the list of the most wanted by the Colombian police, the DEA in the United States and Interpol, in addition to having several court cases open for crimes such as homicides, drug trafficking, forced displacement and attacks.
If the death of the guerrilla is confirmed, it would be the second notable loss that registers the dissident of the Farc this year.
Last May, Jesús Santrich, a former guerrilla commander, was ambushed by the Colombian Army and who came to take office as an official member of the House of Representatives of the Colombian Congress after the signing of the 2016 peace agreement.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.