Among the dead was Arquimedes Muñoz Villamil alias “Jeronimo,” one of the men responsible for the personal security of the guerrilla leader.
The fighting took place in the Chapinero zone in a rural area of Nieva, where the insurgents were killed. Two soldiers were also killed, according to army sources.
The remains of the fallens soldiers, and the bodies of the guerrillas, were flown by helicopter to the headquarters of the Ninth Army Brigade in Nieva.
At this time the army conducted forensic testing to confirm the identity of the bodies. Military officials say all the characteristics of the body suggest it is indeed security ring leader Jeronimo but they are awaiting test results to confirm it.
Jeronimo, who had spent over 32 years in the FARC’s ranks, was in charge of finances for the rebel group in the Huila and Tolima departments as well as being in charge of one of the main security rings of Alfonso Cano.
The Colombian army captured four guerrillas thought to belong to the same security ring in the Huila department on March 4.