Colombian authorities revealed an intercepted email allegedly from the FARC Wednesday inciting indigenous people in southwestern Colombia to “demand the withdrawal” of government forces from the region.
“Deal propaganda in the municipalities of northern Cauca so that people would require the withdrawal of [government] forces from populated areas,” read the email confiscated in May from the computer of Edgar Lopez Gomez, alias “Pacho Chino,” the suspected “joint commander of the FARC in the west [of the country]”, according to the Colombian government.
The reward for Pacho Chino’s capture was raised from $1.1 million to $1.4 million after he attempted to spread propaganda in Colombia’s embattled Cauca department, a traditional FARC stronghold that has seen an escalation of violence in recent weeks.
President Juan Manuel Santos said his government is “going to prosecute a number of group members” from Cauca’s indigenous population who “support the guerrillas.”
On Wednesday, indigenous protesters from the municipality of Toribio were driven out of an army base they had briefly occupied, in protest of the Colombian military’s presence in their community. The incident resulted in the fatal shooting death of one member of the community, leaving 23 others injured.