Colombia’s FARC number 2 rebel commander “Mono Jojoy” killed

September 24th, 2010 - 4:07 am ICT by BNO News  

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (BNO NEWS) — The FARC number 2 rebel commander Victor Julio Suarez Rojas was killed in a military operation that begun Tuesday night and included an air strike, officials said Thursday.

In the joint Armed Forces and Police operation, Suarez Rojas, 57, who is also known as “Jorge Briceño” or “Mono Jojoy,” and is one of the most important leaders of Colombia’s main rebel group, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was reportedly killed. His body was identified and recovered although it has not been transported.

According to officials, Task Force Omega and the Air Force arrived at FARC’s 300-square-meter camp La Macarena where Suarez Riojas, was located and conducted the operation successfully.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos described the operation as “the most overwhelming blow to the FARC in its history, even over the death of Raul Reyes,” which included over 30 aircraft and 27 helicopters.

“Mono Jojoy represented FARC terror,” Santos added, stating that over 20 guerrilla rebels were killed, possibly including two more rebel leaders among them.

The Colombian President went to on to send a message to the FARC, saying “we are after them, we are not putting down our guard, and we have a long way to go.”

Suarez Rojas, who joined the FARC in 1975, was considered the most radical of the rebel group and was responsible for 90 of the hardest blows against security forces, having steamed over several towns. The rebel leader had a dozen convictions and 50 arrest warrants for terrorism, murder, and drug trafficking.

As head of the Eastern Bloc of the FARC, it was he who reportedly devised and carried out the strategy of kidnapping soldiers and police to press for an “exchange.”

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