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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

FARC Guerrillas Kill Police Chief in Colombia

BOGOTA – Suspected Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrillas killed the deputy police chief in Silvania, a town in the southern Colombian province of Huila, police spokesmen said.

The guerrillas killed 2nd Lt. Pedro Jose Salamanca as he rode his motorcycle from the police station in Silvania, which is near the city of Gigante, to his house.

Salamanca was shot several times and died while being treated at a hospital.

Several FARC units operate in the rural area around Silvania and across Huila.

Six National Liberation Army, or ELN, guerrillas and four FARC fighters, meanwhile, surrendered to the security forces in different parts of Colombia.

The ELN rebels were all members of the Comuneros Front, which operates in the southwestern province of Nariño.

The guerrillas surrendered to the army in Llanada, a rural area in Nariño, which is on the border with Ecuador.

The ELN guerrillas turned themselves in to the army’s 13th Brigade.

Four members of the FARC’s 48th Front, which operates in Putumayo province, surrendered to the 27th Brigade.

Putumayo is also on the border with Ecuador.

The rebels handed over their arms, ammunition, some explosives and documents to the army.

The Defense Ministry runs the PAHD demobilization program, which was created by the government to help members of illegal armed groups return to civilian life.

More than 50,000 members of illegal armed groups have demobilized in Colombia since August 2002.

The ELN, which was founded in 1964 and has some 5,000 fighters, has been engaged in an “exploratory phase” of peace talks with the government since December 2005.

The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, was also founded in 1964 and today operates across a large swath of this Andean nation.

President Alvaro Uribe’s administration has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained billions in U.S. aid for counterinsurgency operations.

The FARC has suffered a series of blows in recent years, with the biggest coming on July 2, 2008, when the Colombian army rescued former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, U.S. military contractors Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves, and 11 other Colombian police officers and soldiers.

The FARC had been trying to trade the 15 captives, along with 25 other “exchangeables,” for hundreds of jailed guerrillas.

The FARC is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. Drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom are the FARC’s main means of financing its operations. EFE
 

 

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