A Colombian court sentenced five prominent FARC leaders to 40 years in prison in absentia Monday for their involvement in a 1998 attack against an army base in the country’s southeast.
A judge from the central Colombian city of Villavicencio said FARC leaders “Timochenko,” the current commander of the FARC, “Romaña,” “Manuel Marulanda,” “Efrain Guzman” and “Ivan Marquez” were sentenced to 40 years in prison for their participation in the 1998 FARC attack against an army base in the city of Miraflores in the department of Guaviare.
During the attack against Miraflores, more than 800 suspected FARC guerrillas stormed the army defenses, killed some 16 soldiers and captured more than 120 policemen.
Manuel Marulanda, widely known as “Tirofijo,” allegedly founded the FARC in 1964 with alias, “Jacobo Arenas,” and died of a heart attack in 2008, as confirmed by government and FARC reports.
Efrain Guzman, the former leader of the FARC’s Caribbean Bloc, is thought to have died of natural causes in 2003.
Colombian media reported the death of Romaña, who commanded the group’s Eastern Bloc, in 2010, although authorities never produced his body nor evidence to support this claim. The guerrilla leader was sentenced to 22 years in absentia in 2011 for his role in orchestrating numerous attacks and kidnappings in the central department of Meta.
Timochenko was named the supreme leader of the FARC in November 2011, after his predecessor “Alfonso Cano” was killed by Colombian security forces.
Ivan Marquez is the chief of the FARC’s Caribbean Bloc and has appeared regularly in videos posted on FARC-affiliated websites.