Leonardo Chaux Hernandez, alias “Simon Bernate,” was apparently the political leader of the FARC’s Central Bloc and the man closest to alias “Jeronimo Galeano” who led that particular guerrilla structure until his death in March of this year.
Authorities have stated that the detained FARC ideologue maintained direct communication with supreme FARC commander Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias “Alfonso Cano,” with some sources claiming he was his right-hand man.
The 51-year-old had been a member of the FARC for around 25 years and is considered by army authorities to have the most extensive knowledge of the history of the guerrilla organization.
Caracol Radio reported that the arrest was carried out by the army’s 6th division, who will transport him to Bogota later on Thursday, while other media sources elucidate the sequence of events leading to his capture that apparently followed a routine inspection in which he was discovered to have a forged identity card.
In October 2009 “Simon Bernate” was widely reported to have been killed in fighting with the army, although it later emerged that he had been injured and rescued.
National authorities are hoping that among various seized computers and USB memory sticks they will be able to find potential links to any politicians collaborating with the FARC, as well as an indication of FARC strategic plans.