Sources within Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday confirmed to Colombian media that four more FARC commanders are on their way to Cuba to join ongoing peace talks.
The new FARC negotiators will join a rotating team of rebels in Havana led by alias “Pacho Chino,” who replaced negotiator “Pablo Catatumbo” as commander of the Western Joint Command that controls rebel units in the southwest of the country.
FACT SHEET: FARC command structure
In order to facilitate their travel to Cuba, the Prosecutor General’s office lifted the arrest warrants for all four guerillas.
Chino is currently wanted on charges of kidnapping and killing of 11 state deputies and for his participation in attacks that led to the deaths of 8 people, including 6 soldiers. As the joint commander of the western bloc, he has been active in the Cauca state for what police and military commanders suspect to be almost thirty years.
In 2012, the award for his successful capture was raised from $1.1 million to $1.4 million after he ordered a propaganda campaign in the region.
Also joining the negotiations will be alias “Walter Mendoza,” now leader of the FARC’s eastern bloc, alias “Matias,” and “Leonel.”
Official sources told Caracol Radio that the arrival of the four commanders is a “rotation in the team” of negotiators, and that other guerillas will be returning to Colombia.
This would confirm a previous report by news website Las 2 Orillas that had claimed that negotiator “Andres Paris,” until last week the spokesperson for the rebel group, had returned to Colombia.