FARC succession struggle seen in wake of Alfonso Cano killing

The future of Colombia’s FARC guerillas is in question following the death of leader “Alfonso Cano” at the hands of the Colombian army Nov. 4. Local media reports anticipate a power struggle between “Iván Márquez” and “Timochenko.” Marquez, FARC’s “foreign minister,” is portrayed as more moderate than Timochenko, commander of the feared Bloque Magdalena Medio. Both leaders have the geographical disadvantage of being in the northeast of the country or even in Venezuela, far from the FARC’s heartland in Colombia’s south. Two other possible successors mentioned by analysts are “Pablo Catatumbo,” commander of the Western Bloc, and “Joaquín Gómez,” commander of the Southern Bloc. Gómez is said to control the FARC’s drug trafficking operations in Nariño and Putumayo departments. Catatumbo, said to have been Cano’s principal rival, runs the FARC’s elite “special forces” that have been carrying out deadly attacks in Cauca and Nariño departments. (Colombia Reports, Nov. 5)

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