The rebel, aliases “Nicolas Bermudez” or “Barbas,” is accused of controlling drug trafficking finances and procuring military equipment for the FARC’s 18th Front — a role he took over after being injured several years ago.
According to Colombian security forces, Barbas took part in a 2002 massacre in Bojaya, Choco department, in which 119 people were killed and more than 50 wounded. The civilians were hit by a FARC-launched gas cylinder bomb as they sheltered in a church surrounded by paramilitaries.
The guerrilla, who’s thought to have been a FARC member for 23 years, was arrested at a bus terminal in Uraba, a north-western region of Colombia.
Yesid Vasquez, commander of the Metropolitan Police, said Barbas was captured with the help of informants. He said, “He was captured after leaving Choco to go to Uraba, where he met members of the group ‘Uraba’ to coordinate drug trafficking routes.”
Barbas had been in Medellin the previous week to receive treatment for a broken arm, he added.