Police in the western Colombian state of Choco claim to have arrested the guerrilla responsible for a bombing of a local supermarket that left five people dead and as many as 17 wounded last week, according to national reports.
Said to be a leader in the 34th Front of the FARC, the country’s oldest rebel group, alias “Gordo” stands accused of orchestrating the bombing in retribution for unpaid extortion money. Two of the supermarket employees and the shop owner’s daughter were among those killed in the blast, which went off in the state capital of Quibdo last Tuesday.
A 24-year-old woman was arrested a few hours after the explosion, saying she was paid $25 to leave the package containing the bomb in the supermarket.
Gordo, meanwhile, previously had arrest warrants in his name in relation to terrorism, murder, drug trafficking and carrying illegal firearms and explosives.
The news of Gordo’s capture comes after the FARC delegation to ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government in Cuba issued a statement publicly denying responsibility for the attack. Delegate Marcos Calarca reportedly told the El Tiempo newspaper, “These types of actions are not the behavior nor the policy of the FARC.
“We are accustomed by now to everything negative that happens in Colombia is the responsibility of the FARC. Even if the crops are damaged by too much rain or drought it is the responsibility” of the FARC.
The FARC is the oldest and most powerful rebel group in Colombia. It is currently negotiating an end to its 50-year conflict with the Colombian government, but maintains active militant presences in various states, including Choco.