Colombia’s Defense Ministry announced Nov. 4 that the army has killed Guillermo Leon Saenz AKA “Alfonso Cano”—the supreme leader of the FARC guerillas. According to Colombia’s Radio Caracol, Cano was killed in a bomb raid and found by ground forces in a rural area of the Suárez municipality, Cauca department. The BBC later reported his body had multiple bullet wounds, suggesting he had been killed by ground forces. Cano, 63. assumed leadership of the FARC in May 2008 after the death of founder “Manuel Marulanda.”
Under Cano’s leadership, the FARC guerrilla organization adopted a new strategy after years of military setbacks. The new strategy, which involved an increase in hit-and-run attacks and dividing the guerrilla army into small regional fronts, causing an increasing number of casualties among Colombian soldiers and leading to criticism of the security policy of President Juan Manuel Santos. The US State Department, which had indicted Cano on drug trafficking charges in 2006, put out a $5 million reward on information leading to Cano’s capture or death. (BBC World Service, Nov. 5; Colombia Reports, Nov. 4)
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