The death of Raul Reyes is being decribed as the most severe military blow to the FARC terror group…
Raul Reyes, a top rebel leader and chief negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), attends a meeting with Spanish trade union representatives, unseen, in Madrid in this Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2000 file photo. Colombia’s defense minister said that a leading FARC commander, who was the rebels’ official spokesman, known as ‘Raul Reyes’ was killed on the morning of Saturday, March 1, 2008, along with other rebels. Reyes, whose real name was Luis Edgar Devia Silva, was considered a contender to take over the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. (AP Photo/Paul White)
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A top commander of the Colombian rebel group FARC, Raul Reyes, was killed in combat in southern province near the frontier with Ecuador, a Colombian army source said on Saturday.
Reyes was one of the seven members of the secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Latin America’s oldest surviving left-wing insurgency, which U.S. and European officials label a terrorist group.
The death of one one of its top commanders would be the most serious blow to the FARC under the government of President Alvaro Uribe, who has received billions of dollars in U.S. aid to fight the rebels and cocaine traffickers.
Violence from Colombia’s has ebbed under Uribe, who has sent troops to retake areas under the control of armed groups. But the FARC is still potent in remote areas, where it is holding scores of hostages including three U.S. contract workers and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.
The Guardian is calling this the most severe military blow ever to the FARC terror group.
FARC terrorists have been holding US defense contractors Keith Stansell, Mark Gonsalves and Thomas Howes since 2003 in the jungles of Colombia.
Gonsalves, Stansell and Howes were doing drug surveillance for the Department of Defense when they were taken hostage in February 2003. The single-engine plane carrying them and two other men crashed in a remote, mountainous region south of Colombia’s capital, Bogota. Almost four years later they are still being held by FARC.
Daniel at Venezuela News and Views has more on the hostages released by FARC this past week.
Another top FARC dog Guillermo Enrique Torres, called Julian Conrado, who was a key ideologist was also killed in the fighting.