“Dead” FARC leader sentenced to 22 years in absentia

Henry Castellanos Garz贸n AKA “Roma帽a”, a leader of Colombia’s FARC guerillas, was sentenced in absentia to 22 years and nine months in prison for orchestrating numerous attacks and kidnappings in Meta department, Colombian media reported July 5. At the trial in the departmental capital Villavicencio, prosecutors cited reports by residents of La Uribe municipality that they had been victims of displacement, theft, threats and homicide by FARC fighters on the orders of Castellanos Garz贸n. “Roma帽a” was convicted of terrorism, conspiracy to commit crimes and aggravated theft, and orders for his arrest were reissued by the judge. However, the order seemingly contradicts widespread reports last year that Roma帽a was killed along with the FARC’s former second-in-command, “Mono Jojoy,” in a raid know as “Operation Sodoma.” (Colombia Reports, July 5)

The sentencing comes days after President Juan Manuel Santos said that the FARC’s top commander. known as “Alfonso Cano,” narrowly escaped a June 30 army attack on his camp. Santos said Cano slept at that location, near the border of Huila and Cauca departments, the night before the raid. “Sooner or later, Cano will fall鈥攋ust like all the leaders of the FARC will fall,” Santos pledged. (CNN, July 4)

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