- BBC World News
The dissident group of the FARC to which the guerrilla commander alias Jesús Santrich belonged confirmed his death in Venezuelan territory on Tuesday.
According to a statement from the guerrilla group, Santrich, whose real name was Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte, died “in an ambush carried out by commandos of the Colombian army on May 17.”
Different Colombian media handle different versions: some say that he died in a confrontation with another group of the FARC dissidents, others that he was killed by mercenaries and there is also talk that he was killed in an operation by the Venezuelan Army.
Santrich, a former commander of the FARC guerrilla and who came to take office as an official member of the House of Representatives of the Colombian Congress after the signing of the peace agreement in that country, was wanted by Interpol.
Santrich was detained from April 9, 2018 to May 30, 2019, accused twice by the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office and with an extradition request from the United States for an accusation of drug trafficking.
His release came amid a long controversy between Colombian judicial institutions and the rejection of the government of Ivan Duke.
The guerrilla soon after acceded to the Colombian Congress thanks to the 2016 peace agreement, which established that the now political party Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionario del Común (FARC) would automatically benefit with ten seats for the 2018-2022 period.
However, shortly after taking office, in mid-June 2019, he disappeared and his whereabouts were unknown until now.
Since then, it was believed that he was in Venezuelan territory with one of the FARC dissident groups that, after the initial support, went on to oppose the peace agreement in Colombia.
On August 29, 2019, Ivan Marquez and Santrich, who were part of the FARC team that negotiated peace with the Colombian government, secretly announced their return to arms alleging alleged breaches of the agreement by the State.
Since March, the Venezuelan Army has been fighting with Colombian armed groups, among which is believed to be the FARC dissidence, which a few days ago captured eight Venezuelan soldiers.
These confrontations on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, supposedly motivated by the control of illegal economies, have caused the displacement of thousands of Venezuelans to the Colombian side.
The Caracas government, accused by Colombia of having links with the FARC, was a key player in the peace accords. In addition, President Nicolás Maduro has shown sympathy in the past for Iván Márquez and Santrich.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.