Colombia says rebel commander slain

Tomas Medina Caracas of Farc was wanted by the US on cocaine-trafficking charges.

    Ten soldiers were killed and another five lost in action on Monday alone in combat with Farc [AFP]

    He is the first on the list to be hunted down since the US government announced the indictment and a total of $77.5m in rewards for their capture.
     
    Biggest blow
     
    "Without a doubt this is the biggest blow ever to the logistical capacity of the FARC," Santos said.
     
    He said insurgents removed Medina's cadaver to make positive identification impossible.
     
    "In many ways he is more important than some of the members of the FARC's secretariat, because he controlled its drug and weapons-smuggling operations and had extensive contacts with the criminal underworld," Santos said.
     
    War-tax architect
     
    Medina, who led a force in eastern Colombia, is widely credited with reinvigorating the Farc over the past decade by collecting a "war tax" on cocaine shipments passing through the extensive, lawless areas it controls.
     
    Although Medina was never believed to be a member of the Farc's secret inner circle of ideologues, he became the first rebel commander indicted by a US federal court on drug-trafficking charges in 2002.
     
    The later, broader indictment alleged that Medina had acquired at least 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles and other weapons in exchange for 1.5 metric tonnes of cocaine.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.