The Colombian State on Tuesday has expropriated $5 million dollars found during an operation which resulted in the death of a top commander of rebel group FARC, in November 2011.
Following the raid that resulted in the killing of Alfonso Cano and several of his bodyguards, the army found a large amount of cash in both Colombian pesos and US dollars.
Colombia’s prosecutor general argued that Cano, having always been a member of rebel group FARC, had never held a legitimate profession in his life. As a representative of the organization’s ruling body, the Secretariat, the prosecutor general said Cano was responsible for terrorism, kidnapping, extortion and homicide.
[T]here exists sufficient proof that the money seized from Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias “Alfonso Cano,” is the product of illicit activity which lacks legal justification, being of illicit origin,” according to the statement by the prosecutor general.
The FARC leader was for many years based in the Las Hermosas canyon in the southwestern Tolima department, protected by a large network of rebel sympathizers among the civilian population. However, sometime during mid 2011, Cano started moving west towards Cauca, accompanied by around a dozen rebels, where he was finally intercepted by the Colombian armed forces on November 4, 2011.
According to locals in the Suarez municipality, the FARC transferred more than 500 rebels from the Pacific, with the intention of forming a security ring around the leader. However, the reinforcements arrived too late, as the bespectacled commander and his small following had already found themselves surrounded and trapped by several hundred members of the Colombian special forces.
After his death, “Timochenko,” the most senior member of the FARC’s leadership, assumed command of the rebel group.
Location where Alfonso Cano was killed
- La fortaleza de ‘Cano’ (Semana)
- Las ultimas horas de Alfonso Cano (La Nacion, print edition)
- Fortuna valorada en cerca de $1.000 millones de ‘Alfonso Cano’ pasaría a manos del Estado (Caracol Radio)