Armed forces have been attacking the assumed main hide-out of supreme FARC leader “Alfonso Cano” since Tuesday, reported Colombian media Sunday. The attacks sparked speculations the guerrilla leader had been killed in one of the raids.
According to several media, the attacks on the FARC leader, who is suspected to be located in the mountainous region on the border of the Cauca, Tolima and Huila region, started Tuesday and Cano’s main camp has been hit by an air force raid. The army on Sunday reportedly was in the area looking for remains, but were hindered by difficult conditions.
According to Jineth Bedoya Lima, editor of the Colombia’s largest newspaper El Tiempo, “the blow was struck last Thursday between Huila, Cauca en Tolima. They are identifying the bodies.” The journalist Tweeted the army is certain that Alfonso Cano was in the bombed camp.
Diego Santos, director of El Tiempo, wrote on his Twitter that high military sources said that Alfonso Cano had not been killed.
Jose Obdulio Gaviria, a former presidential adviser, wrote on his Twitter that “serious sources” personally had confirmed the FARC leader was in the area that was bombed.
Political analyst and prominent columnist Natalia Springer tweeted that “an army source of the highest credibility confirms … the possible death of Cano.” Minutes later, Springer wrote: “Nothing confirmed. Nothing confirmed. What is known is that personal belongings of Cano were found.”
According to television station Canal Caracol, the army found large quantities of the cigarettes the FARC leader likes to smoke.
President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on his Twitter he was in Chaparral, just miles north of the alleged hide-out of the FARC leader and will hold a press conference regarding the operations when returning to Bogota.
It is the second time this year that media speculate over the possible death of Cano. In February, political website La Silla Vacia reported his death, but was forced to retract after this proved to be false.
The army has intensely been looking for the FARC leader since he assumed power of the organization in March 2008 when FARC founder Pedro Antonio Marin, alias “Tirofijo” died of a heart attack.