Colombia’s top rebel leader killed in military operation

2011-11-05 07:28

Colombia’s top rebel commander was killed in military operations in the southern region, sources in the Defence Ministry confirmed.

Guillermo Leon Saenz, head of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia, was reportedly killed during government air strikes on guerrilla positions in Cauca province.

Local media said the body of Saenz, aka “Alfonso Cano”, was found alongside his partner whose nom de guerre was “Patricia”.

El Tiempo newspaper’s online edition quoted military sources saying the rebel leader was killed in an air strike near the village of Chirriadero in Miranda municipality.

Radio Caracol said the body was being taken to the provincial capital Popayan. Government and military officials were expected to make a public announcement today.

The 62-year-old Saenz was the latest leader of Colombia’s largest and oldest guerrilla front to die or be killed in the past three years.

He rose to the top of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia after founder Manuel Marulanda died in 2008. Raul Reyes, the second in command, was killed that same year during a cross-border raid on his camp in Ecuador.

Jorge “Mono Jojoy” Briceno, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia’s military chief, was killed by troops in 2010.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.