A commander and ideologue of Colombia’s largest and oldest rebel group FARC has handed himself over to authorities, according to the military.
“Negro Tomas,” who was important enough to be called on to participate in the ongoing peace negotiations between the FARC and the government in Havana, Cuba, demobilized on Wednesday, say sources in the army’s 7th Division.
Negro Tomas was reportedly the most important ideologue in the FARC’s 18th Front, which operates mainly in the mountainous northern region of Antioquia, in the north of Colombia, and is considered by crime analysis website Insight Crime to be “probably the strongest Front in the Ivan Rios Bloc”, which is led by Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator in Havana.
Insight Crime estimates the 18th Front to possess “around 250 fighters and 300 militiamen.” They are one of the Fronts that allegedly builds the semi-submersibles that transport large amounts of cocaine up the Pacific.
The Front was accused of killing seven civilians in Ituango, northern Antioquia, on August 14, 2008. Police say that the rebel group exploded a bomb on a pedestrianized street that was filled with hundreds of people dancing as part of a farmer’s festival. The FARC blamed the government.
The army will release more details of the demobilization later on Thursday.
- Se desmoviliza el ‘Negro Tomás’ un histórico de las Farc (CM&)
- Se desmovilizó alias “el Negro Tomás”, ideólogo del frente 18 de las Farc (EL Colombiano)
- Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC’s Most Vulnerable Fighting Division (Insight Crime)
- Las Farc niegan atentado que dejó 7 muertos en Ituango, Antioquia (Tierra)