As right-wing paramilitary violence rises, the lawyer for the FARC said that the bounty comes from wealthy people “previously linked to armed organization.”
FARC-EP leader Rodrigo Londoño, or Timochenko (above), is among those who the lawyer said had a bounty on his head by a criminal organization.
As Colombia’s largest left-wing guerilla group lays down its arms and transitions into electoral politics, a criminal organization is offering US$1 million bounties for the assassinations of leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a lawyer said on Tuesday.
“We have knowledge of a criminal organization with resources, which has offered up to US$1 million for each person on the FARC secretariat who is murdered,” the Spanish lawyer for the FARC, Enrique Santiago told Caracol Radio. The FARC secretariat is the nine-member leadership council of the group.
Santiago pointed out that the people offering the bounty are likely very wealthy. “These offers come from people who have the economic means to offer not just US$1 million but US$9 million” for the nine secretarian members.
Although he did not name the criminal organization that was offering the bounty, he said that they are “people previously linked to armed organization.”
The nine secretariat members include FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, also known as Timochenko,” in addition to Ivan Marquez, Luciano Marin, Milton Toncel, Jaime Parra, Jorge Torres, Felix Muñoz, Hermilio Cabrera, Julian Gallo, and Rodrigo Granda.
He said that seven former FARC members had been killed since April 1st of this year. Right-wing paramilitary activity has continued and even strengthened in some regions following the peace negotiations and disarmament of FARC. They are using their growing strength to threaten FARC members, as well as social movement leaders and exert power over local populations.
Many still remember the massacre of Patriotic Union party members in the 1980’s and 90’s by right-wing forces, and fear a repeat of the violence.
FARC leaders have pushed for the government to carry through with and expedite agreed-upon measures to guarantee the safety and amnesty of disarmed rebels. The resurgence of a campaign of violence by the far-right could seriously damage or destroy the stated goals of the peace process, which ended 53 years of conflict.