BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – The legendary military strategist of Colombia’s largest rebel group has been killed in a military strike, a development that President Juan Manuel Santos called Thursday the biggest blow against a guerrilla organization in the rebels’ 46-year war with the Colombian state.
The commander known as Jorge Briceno, 57, was killed Wednesday morning when military aircraft bombed a large rebel base operated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the country’s isolated south, senior military officials said. Troops recovered the body, and the military later confirmed the rebel commander’s identity, Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said at a news conference Thursday in Bogota.
“He symbolized terror,” Santos said in New York, where he is attending the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting. “This is the most important blow ever against the FARC.”
I’m unfortunately not yet knowledgeable enough about Colombian history to give any of my own context or commentary, but this is a major event, and I’m sure there will be updates and aftershocks to come.