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Colombian rebel FARC leader had ties to Venezuela's Maduro -president




By Reuters

Petroleumworld 02 05 2019

A Colombian rebel commander killed over the weekend had ties to Venezuela's embattled leader Nicolas Maduro, President Ivan Duque said on Monday.

Duque did not provide details on the connection between the guerrilla, a member of a dissident faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) known by his nom de guerre Rodrigo Cadete, and Maduro's administration.

“Rodrigo Cadete had been creating organizations for more than a year, also nurtured by the patronage of some sectors close to Venezuela's dictatorship,” Duque told reporters, referring to efforts the government says Cadete was making to form new rebel factions.

Maduro is embroiled in a showdown with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself Venezuela's legitimate president.

Colombia, along with the United States, Canada, most of Latin America and at least 10 European countries, has officially recognized Guaido as Venezuela's leader.

The 51-year-old Cadete, whose birth name was Mesias Salgado Aragon, was a long-time member of the FARC rebel group, which demobilized in 2017 after a peace deal with the government, Defense Minister Guillermo Botero said.

Cadete originally participated in the demobilization but months later returned to factions of the FARC that rejected the accord, Botero added.

At least 13 other guerrilla fighters have been killed during the operation, which is ongoing and has included bombings and ground combat, the minister said.

The dissidents have an estimated 1,800 combatants spread across about 30 units. Some 13,000 FARC members, including 6,000 combatants, demobilized under the peace accord.

The group is now a political party, with 10 seats in Congress guaranteed through 2026.

The FARC fought the government for more than five decades in a conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people.



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Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Helen Murphy and Dan Grebler from Reuters.

reuters.com 02 04 2019


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