“Pablo Catatumbo,” one of the most senior commanders of rebel group FARC, has arrived in Cuba to join the guerrilla organization’s peace talks delegation, the FARC confrmed Saturday.
Local media reported early Saturday that the 60-year old commander of the guerrilla group’s Western Bloc had been picked in a town in the southwest of the country and moved to the city of Cali in a helicopter carrying the logo of the Red Cross.
In a blog post, the FARC said Catatumbo had arrived in Cuba together with rebels “Victoria Sandino Palmera,” “Freddy Gonzalez” y “Lucas Carvajal.”
The Western Bloc commander is also a member of the FARC’s Secretariat, the seven-man ruling body of the 50-year-old guerrilla group.
PROFILE: “Pablo Catatumbo”
Sandino Palmera is a member of the FARC’s “Estado Mayor,” the second highest commanding body of the organization.
With the arrival of Catatumbo, one of the FARC’s most successful military commanders, the number of Secretariat members at the negotiations table was raised to three. Other members in Havana are “Ivan Marquez” and Rodrigo Granda.”
The FARC and a delegation representing the Colombian government, military and business leaders have been involved in talks since November 19. The warring parties hope to end the conflict that began in 1964 and has left hundreds of thousands of Colombians dead.