Timochenko will be the new target for the Armed Forces
The guerrilla is expected to be hiding in Venezuela or the border with that country. It is expected that he is protected by the Mobile Column, Antonio Santos, of the 33rd Front and the Catatumbo and 29 de Mayo Companies.
November 09, 2011
Timoshenko and Timoleón Jiménez, known as Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, joined the FARC in 1982. He is the Magdalena Medio Bloc commander, whose main area of influence is the region of Catatumbo in Norte de Santander and part of the Department of Santander. His military training was in the former Soviet Union, where he received his alias referring to the soldier Konstantinovich Timoshenko, prominent soldier in the Russian Revolution between 1918 and 1919. Alias Timochenko is sentenced to 40 years of prison for the crimes of murder, rebellion, and kidnapping.
The statement that President Juan Manuel Santos sent to guerrilla members Saturday, where he stated that "no FARC leader will be safe in any corner of this territory", seems to now point to Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, alias Timoshenko, whom experts believe as one of the possible successors to late Alfonso Cano.
Military Intelligence sources assured El Colombiano that military operations have been aimed at the pursuit of the guerrilla leader who we know "moves in strategic corridors along the border with Venezuela".
The same military source ensures that these corridors established by the guerrilla leader had not aroused suspicion by authorities, but "we know that he travels through village roads in the township Las Mercedes, in Sardinata (Norte de Santander)".
"It has been hard to follow him because he has also created a network of informants and contacts that help hide him when he feels that he is being pursued," said the officer.
Investigators hypothesize that the main objective of Timoshenko to settle in this area is to seek protection from the Mobile Column, Antonia Santos, the 33rd Front, and the Catatumbo and 29 de Mayo Companies, all from the Magdalena Medio Bloc, of which he is commander.
According to authorities, after the death of Alfonso Cano, Timochenko became a priority for the Government, "because, as the President said: demobilize or expect jail or a grave. And this seems to be the end of this guerrilla who spent 30 years in the FARC."
He lives in several camps.
One of the strategies used by the guerrilla leader to evade authorities is not to be concentrated in one single camp, as Cano did.
Timochenko prefers to travel through several camps located in Hacarí, Sardinata, and Tibú (Norte de Santander), in where he has the protection of at least 250 guerrillas, without including the militants who provide him with information; authorities say they have identified 35 of his informants.
"We have seen how, for example, one of his informants, dressed as a peasant, goes out in the yard of his house and places a pole with a cable and a nail on the tip. This serves as an antenna for communication flow," said the investigator.
Such actions have allowed satellite monitoring to determine the location of several camps and guerrilla leaders.
But during the raids, Timoshenko has been detected in the company of one of the confidants of Iván Márquez, head of the Caribbean Bloc, and a potential successor to Cano.
Alias Bertulfo has become Timochenkos protection. The intelligence work has in occasions placed him in the village of Las Mesitas, Hacarí, and other times in San Calixto (Norte de Santander).
"He (Bertulfo) is in charge of intelligence operations and tracking so that alias Timochenko can move without problems between Colombia and Venezuela. He even helped the organization of militants in the town of San Calixto so that there wouldnt be mishaps with the authorities," explained Military Intelligence.
Thus, they are on the trail of Timochenko, considered as one of the most radical guerrilla members. The Armed Forces want to comply with the orders of President Santos: "well bring them out of their burrows".
"We will maintain the pressure"
On Tuesday President Santos said during the CAN- Community of Andean Nations- that he would continue "military pressure as long as we dont see an effort for peace by the guerrilla groups".
"We will continue after this objective of peace; we will continue military pressure as long as we dont see a real desire for peace from these groups. When we see that effort for peace we will open the door for dialogue," said Santos.
"I have told our neighbors in Latin America and the world that this is a Colombian problem that Colombians will resolve; when we need help we will ask for it and Im sure that Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, and Ollanta Humala would give us this help to achieve peace.
Meanwhile this is a Colombian problem and we dont want anyone to interfere in such internal affairs of Colombia," said Santos, accompanied by his counterparts from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.
On the other hand, the Director of the National Institute of Legal Medicine, Carlos Valdés, confirmed that no request has been submitted to this entity to claim the body of the FARC commander.
"So far no family member has approached to request the body. Once the requirements of the Prosecutors Office are fulfilled, the body will be turned over," said Valdés, explaining that this action is immediate.
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