Armed forces almost killed FARC leader: Minister

Colombian armed forces almost neutralized the FARC’s supreme leader “Alfonso Cano” in August, the country’s defense minister said Thursday.

In an interview with Spanish press agency Efe, Minister Rodrigo Rivera said that on August 21 an operation against the guerrilla’s top leader “only just failed.” The minister didn’t give any further details on the operation.

Almost exactly one month after the alleged operation against Alfonso Cano, the army successfully carried out an attack which killed the FARC’s military commander Julio Suarez Rojas, alias “Mono Jojoy.”

The death of Suarez may be “more important” than killing Alfonso Cano himself, said the minister, because the military operation hit the “center of gravity” of the FARC.

“Alfonso Cano’s leadership is more or less symbolic, more or less political, but a narco-terrorist organization like this, with an important military strength, has its center of gravity in the military [field],” Rivera explained.

Alfonso Cano, whose real name is Guillermo Leon Saenz, became the FARC’s supreme commander after the death of founder “Manuel Marulanda” in 2008. Colombian armed forces have carried out operations in the mountains in the south of the central Colombian Tolima department almost constantly, as the FARC commander is assumed to operate from that region.

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