Prominent figures around the world made public statements following the announcement Thursday that FARC leader “Mono Jojoy” was killed in a bombing raid by the Colombian armed forces.
A representative from the White House said the death is an “important victory” for Colombia.
“We firmly support the Colombian people, their security forces, and President Santos in their efforts in combating the FARC,” said National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer.
Former Colombian representative Consuelo Gonzalez, who was kidnapped by the FARC in 2001, said the news brings her calm. She said the now-deceased FARC leader was the one who had ordered her capture, and told her that if she escaped they would kill her. Gonzalez was freed in 2008.
Other international groups have made statements about the killing, including the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Roman Catholic Church. Jose Miguel Insulza of the OAS congratulated the Colombian government and said the FARC should realize the path they are following will only continue to close.
Monsignor Ruben Salazar, archbishop of Bogota, said the Church will never rejoice in the death of anyone, and the armed conflict in Colombia must end. Salazar added that the event should initiate “a new process of dialogue” with the FARC.
Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt said that Mono Jojoy’s death gave new hope to the chance of peace in Colombia. “He is one of the most bloodthirsty commanders of the guerrillas in Colombia. I always thought that as long as Mono Jojoy was alive, there would be no chance for a serious peace process,” said the French-Colombian.