BOGOTA – The leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, alias “Timochenko,” is being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital in the central city of Villavicencio after suffering a “transitory ischemic cerebral accident,” or a mini-stroke, medical officials reported Sunday.
Earlier in the day, local media had reported that Londoño had been taken to the hospital on an urgent basis for heart problems.
The 58-year-old guerrilla was taken on an urgent basis to the Cooperativa clinic in Villavicencio, where he received immediate medical care, Caracol Radio reported.
According to the radio report, the FARC chief began to experience significant chest pain, felt faint and developed a very rapid heartbeat, whereupon he was taken to the hospital.
Medical officials later said that the patient has shown a “90 percent” improvement in his condition after appropriate treatment, but remains under observation in the critical care unit.
The medical report said that the guerrilla leader experienced slight difficulties in speaking and in moving his left arm, both symptoms suggestive of a stroke.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or reduced, often by a blood clot.
Guerilla official Felix Antonio Muñoz Lascarro said in a statement that Londoño’s condition is “stable and satisfactory,” and he thanked “different organizations and people” for the “solidarity” they had expressed with the FARC leader.
Since his return from Cuba to Colombia in late May, Londoño had reported no health issues.
In an interview published on Sunday by the daily El Espectador, Londoño admitted that his “machinery is a little worn out” due to the pressure and changes of his new life.
Since 2015, Londoño has experienced assorted health problems. Eight months ago he was hospitalized in Cuba for heart problems, a situation that members of the FARC leadership said was simply a “scare” that did not amount to anything.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Timochenko last Thursday in the town of Mesetas, in central Meta province, presided at the final ceremony for FARC members to turn in their weapons and undertake the transition to civilian life after more than 50 years of armed conflict in the South American country.