FARC leader killed in Colombian army air raid

One of FARC guerilla leaders killed by Colombian army in latest wave of air campaign against group

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Colombian military said one of the leaders of the leftist rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was killed in an air raid on Monday.

Ramon Ruiz, the leader of FARC’s 18th division, which operates in northwestern Colombia, was killed in Choco region alongside four other guerillas from the group.

Ruiz was reported to be killed last year by Colombian security forces but later police denied the claim.

Colombian raid is part of the latest air bombings by the army that started after the FARC guerillas killed 11 soldiers on April 15 in the Cauca region.

The FARC announced suspension of its five-month long unilateral ceasefire following another army bombardment last week that killed 26 members of the group in southern Columbia.

Revolutionary guerillas and Colombian government have been holding peace talks in Cuba since 2012 to end the country’s decades long conflict.

FARC negotiators in Cuba criticised the recent air strikes by the government and said it would hurt chances to achieve peace, pan-Latin American teleSUR TV reported.

“This is the wrong path and it is obvious peace will never be reached by escalating the conflict,” said FARC negotiator Pablo Catatumbo, according to teleSUR.

“In the case of the FARC we have stated clearly that we will continue to fight until we can negotiate a definitive bilateral ceasefire,” President Juan Manuel Santos said over the weekend speaking at an event in capital Bogota.

The 50 years of struggle between Colombian army and the leftist guerrilla groups caused the death of at least 220,000 people as well as displacements of hundreds of thousands inside Colombia.

TRTWorld and agencies