FARC leader moves to demobilized guerrilla camp in southern Colombia

Luciano Marin, a.k.a. "Ivan Marquez" (Screenshot: YouTube)

FARC leader “Ivan Marquez” announced he would move from Bogota to a rural camp for demobilized guerrillas amid major tensions over the possible extradition of the group’s ideologue.

Marquez, whose real name is Luciano Marin, notified the police and the national protection unit of his decision to “temporarily” move into a FARC camp in the southern Caqueta province.

The authorities received the notification hours after the Supreme Court ruled that the recent arrest of FARC ideologue “Jesus Santrich” that followed a US extradition request was legal.

In light of the situation and while we have greater clarity and certainty about what follows, I have taken the decision to temporarily settle in the territorial space of Miravalle.

“Ivan Marquez”

Marquez became the FARC’s political leader after the former guerrillas formed a political party in August last year. He is expected to take seat in the Senate in July.

According to the FARC leader, his decision to return to the countryside “does not imply a withdrawal from the protective measures” or his commitment to the peace process that began in December 2016.

Instead, Marquez told the police, his move is “an adaptation to the new circumstances” and that he “will be attentive to your recommendations.”

According to the FARC leader, he will “accompany the process of reincorporation” of the former guerrillas in Caqueta.

The FARC camp in Caqueta is led by “El Paisa,” one of the FARC’s former military commanders who enjoys great respect among the former combatants.

Other leaders of the former guerrilla group did not immediately respond to the Supreme Court decision to continue studying the extradition request of the group’s ideologue or Marquez’ move to Caqueta.

The arrest was a major blow to the peace process which already was under pressure because of state failures to execute the peace deal and fierce opposition from the country’s conservative opposition.

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