The former commander of the FARC‘s demobilized 27th front escaped his guards with the help of armed men in southern Colombia, local media reported Sunday.
Former 27th Front commander Edgar Mesias Salgado, a.k.a. “Rodrigo Cadete,” reportedly escaped his two guards on Sunday after a visit to his home in El Paujil, Caqueta.
The former commander had been granted permission to visit his home, but fled while on his way back to a demobilization camp in Cartagena del Chaira, local media said.
According to the reports, the former FARC commander asked his guards to stop in a small rural community in Cartagena del Chaira where armed men ambushed the group.
With the help of Cadete, the armed men removed the weapons and communication devices from the guards belonging to the National Protection Unit.
“I will accompany you until here,” the former guerrilla chief reportedly said before escaping with his armed associates.
The guards reported the escape at the nearest police station.
The escape is the first of a former front commander, of which the FARC had approximately 50 before its demobilization as part of a peace deal with the government signed in November last year.
The reported escape has yet to be confirmed by the either government, the FARC or the UN, which is in charge of overseeing the peace process.
The area where Cadete escaped is home to dissident FARC groups that oppose the peace process that seeks to end more than 53 years of armed conflict in Colombia. Until Sunday, Cadete had been taking part in this process.
The 27th Front was rumored to have dissented the peace process last year, but this was denied by Cadete until his surprise escape.