Navarro-Cerrano, 39, ran a criminal enterprise called the Librado Mora Toro Front of the El Ejercito Popular de Liberacion (EPL) that grew coca, ran cocaine production labs, and sold metric tons of the drug to the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Europe, the U.S. State Department said.
The killing is the biggest security success for Santos since the death in 2011 of Alfonso Cano, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group (FARC).
Guerrilla and drug-trafficking kingpin Victor Ramon Navarro Serrano, alias “Megateo”, was killed in a military operation in northwestern Colombia, officials reported Friday. Under the agreement rebels that confess abuses to special peace tribunals, compensate victims and promise not to take up arms again will receive a maximum 8 years of labor under unspecified conditions but not prisons.
As the FARC’s most-vocal critic, he’s also the country’s most-heavily guarded politicians, crisscrossing the country nonstop protected by more than 20 bodyguards and a caravan of armor-plated SUVs.
He’s also seen his once-sterling reputation tarnished by the conviction or investigation of a several former allies for illegally wiretapping political opponents and ties to right-wing militias he negotiated a peace deal with while in power.
Half a century of war has embittered many Colombians who mistrust the peace talks or want harsher retribution for their enemies.
The “political will” to which “Timochenko” was referring is on the part of the Colombian people; a test awaits next year in the form of a public referendum on the transitional justice plan should the peace talks wrap in March as planned.
The leader of Colombia’s largest rebel group, Farc has announced a halt to the rebels’ military training.
“More than standing up for victims, he’s offending them”, said Uribe, whose father, a rancher, was killed by the FARC in a botched kidnapping attempt in the early 1980s.
The FARC, however, have declared that discussion on the justice issue is now “closed”. Santos said in an interview with Reuters Editor in Chief Stephen Adler. According to authorities, he eventually turned to drug trafficking and gained control over a portion of the supply route out of Colombia, the world’s top cocaine producer. He said he’ll follow his convictions regardless of whatever worldwide help he receives.
Once the joint press conference concluded, Santos and “Timochenko” thanked Castro and the Cuban government for their “hospitality and tireless commitment to peace in Colombia” along with guarantor nation Norway, observer nations Venezuela and Chile and Bernie Aronson, a US Special Envoy, for their “fundamental support”.