A top commander of Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC and three lower ranked commanders have been transferred to Cuba where peace talks are held, former President Alvaro Uribe claimed on Tuesday.
Now-Senator Uribe tweeted that four FARC guerrillas have traveled to the peace talks in Havana. The four guerrillas are Edgar Lopez Gomez alias “Pacho Chino”, “Walter Mendoza,” “Matias” and “Leonel.”
According to Uribe, the transfer is “another affront for the military and another security risk.”
The Colombian government or the FARC did not immediately cnfirm of deny Uribe’s allegations.
Chino is allegedly the substitute commander of the FARC’s Western Bloc and along with Walter Mendoza a member of the FARC’s Central Staff. The Central Staff is composed by 25 members and is the highest governing authority in the FARC’s military structure.
Chino’s rise in the ranks has led to a $2,5 million reward from U.S. Department of State for information leading to his arrest. Colombian authorities have accused him of being involved in the 2002 kidnapping of 12 state deputies of the Valle Del Cauca department and killing 11 of them.
The Colombian government or the FARC did not immediately confirm of deny Uribe’s allegations. Both parties failed to respond to reports by news website Las 2 Orillas about the alleged departure of rebel negotiator “Andres Paris” and government negotiator Frank Pearl” from the talks.
Uribe, a critic of the talks, previously leaked classified information about FARC rebels’ trips to Cuba in order to join the peace. Colombian authorities subsequently began investigating the former head of state while military commanders who were suspected of leaking information to Uribe’s party, the Democratic Center, were suspended.
Negotiations between the government and FARC have been ongoing since 2012. They have recently published preliminary agreements made on combating illicit crops, political participation for demobilized guerrillas and rural reforms.
If successful, the talks will end 50 years of violence between rebels and state.