Medellin newspaper El Colombiano claimed Sunday that FARC leader “Timochenko” is in Venezuela, based on the testimony of a demobilized guerrilla. According to Colombia’s defense minister this is speculation.
According to the cited guerrilla, Timochenko “is in Venezuela, in the state of Zulia to be exact, near the Colombian border, north of the Oro river, east of a town called El Cruce and south of the Lora river.”
The guerrilla, alias “Daniel” told the newspaper that the FARC’s supreme leader “moves around in an area of approximately 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles).”
LOCATION OF “TIMOCHENKO” ACCORDING TO EL COLOMBIANO
Defense minister Juan Carlos Pinzon denied knowing the location of Colombia’s most wanted rebel saying that “we do not speculate and only talk about precise and concrete information, and on the day we have to we will tell the country.”
According to the official, “the demobilized always give valuable information that is received by the different intelligence agencies and organizations and based on this we reach something concrete.” However, “At this time I have nothing to say in regards” to El Colombiano’s report.
Leftist rebel groups like the FARC and ELN are known to cross the Venezuelan border in the Catatumbo region frequently and both Timochenko and fellow-guerrilla leader “Ivan Marquez” have often been alleged to be located on the Venezuelan side of the border.
Colombia and Venezuela have both said to be cooperating in catching FARC rebels on Venezuela’s side of the border. However, corruption among Venezuelan troops and alleged cooperation of local commanders with the FARC have not led to massive arrests of FARC rebels in Venezuela.