A former guerrilla from the now defunct EPL was arrested following months of searching by the Colombian authorities.
Luis Fernando Rudas, criminal and former guerrilla, was arrested in Valle del Cauca, a nearby department to Risaraldas, where according to La Tarde newspaper, he was working as a farmer while he hid from the authorities.
Rudas was a member of the Popular Liberation Army (EPL) guerrilla group, which formally demobilized in 1991, but spawned dissident factions, which have since dissolved. The sole remaining faction is lead by “Megateo,” one of Colombian authorities’ most wanted.
Authorities have been hunting down the former guerrilla since June for kidnapping extortion and rebellion, which he will now faces up to 46 years in prison for, local media has reported.
According to RCN Radio Colonel Ruiz, commander of the San Mateo de Pereira batallion said that Rudas belonged to the the Oscar William Calvo front of the EPL, a subversive dissident faction that operated under the command of “Leyton”. Rudas was head of finance for the group, which was responsible for kidnapping and extortion in Risaralda and neighbouring Caldas.
The front reportedly demobilized in 2006.
While allegedly a member of the group from 2000, Rudas participated in over 20 of the kidnappings that were conducted in rural parts of Caldas, Risaralda and Anioquia, some of which ended in murder.
The captured suspect was also allegedly a member of a prominent drug trafficking group.
This year, the guerrilla tried to re-establish the EPL with his brother “El Viejo,” who has since been arrested and is currently detained by the National Police.
“We began operations, and as they developed we arrested the first two. Rudas fled and through intelligence work we located him in Valle,” said Colonel Ruiz
The detainee is also being investigated for the death of four people in the rural municipality of La Bendecida in April.