Gruesome End… FARC Saws Off Leader's Hand After Assassination
After his assassination, FARC rebels sawed off the hand of Commander Ivan Rios and gave it to authorities.
Colombian authorities examine the severed right hand of slain FARC commander Ivan Rios at an army base in Manizales March 7, 2008. Colombian rebel leader Rios was killed this week by his own men, not in combat with security forces, as the army originally reported, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said on Friday. (REUTERS/John Bonilla)
FARC forces are now turning on their own leaders. Ivan Rios was the second top FARC rebel killed in the last week and he was killed by his own men who were surrounded and without supplies.
The AP reported:
A top rebel leader was killed by his own chief of security, who gave Colombian troops the leader’s severed hand as proof, the defense minister said Friday. Ivan Rios was the second top rebel killed in a week, a major setback for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country’s largest rebel force.
No top Colombian rebel leader had ever been slain until Raul Reyes was killed Saturday in a cross-border raid by Colombian troops into Ecuador that set off an international diplomatic crisis.
“The FARC has suffered a new, major blow,” Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told reporters, calling Rios’ death “yet another demonstration that the FARC is falling apart.”
He said troops launched an operation designed to capture Rios on Feb. 17 after receiving tips that he was in a mountainous area straddling the western Colombian provinces of Caldas and Antioquia, and engaged the guerrillas’ outer security ring seven times.
Thursday night, he said, a guerrilla known as Rojas came to the troops with Rios’ severed right hand, laptop computer and ID, saying he had killed his boss three days earlier.
It was unclear what motivated the killing, but Santos said it was to “relieve the military pressure” because the rebels were “surrounded, without supplies and without communication.”
Top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Manuel Marulanda (R), is seen with the FARC’s commander Ivan Rios (L) in Los Pozos in this March 8, 2001 file photo. Rios, a top leader of Colombia’s biggest left-wing rebel group, was killed on March 7, 2008, in Colombia, the army said, marking the second blow to FARC’s leadership in less than a week. (REUTERS/Eliana Apont)
The body of Ivan Rios, a top leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, lies inside a helicopter at a military base in Pereira, Colombia, Saturday, March 8, 2008. Rios was killed by his security chief who gave Colombian troops the leader’s severed right hand as proof. (AP)
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