Whoever was the chief negotiator of the Peace Agreement between the former FARC and the Santos government and one of the biggest criminals in Colombia, would have died in the Venezuelan sanctuary. Colombian military intelligence is confirming the veracity of the information about an alleged attack in which Luciano Marín, alias Iván Márquez, head of the Nueva Marquetalia, one of the two dissidences of the aforementioned guerrilla, would have lost his life.
“At this time, information is being verified, we are working at this time with intelligence to try to verify that information and as soon as we have corroboration, it will be reported in a timely manner,” said the president, Iván Duque, at the end of an act in Bogotá. “Iván Márquez is in Venezuela, he has been in Venezuela protected by Nicolás Maduro, everyone knows that,” the president added.
What is known so far is that about a month ago, Márquez, 67 years old, 40 of them in the guerrilla, would have suffered an attack in Venezuela, in which he lost his life. What happened would be related to the bloody war that he wages with the other FARC dissidents, for control of drug trafficking and illegal gold mining, among other sources of income.
If the news that all the Colombian media are already reporting is true, it would be the fourth commander to lose the life of his mafia gang. Previously, his lieutenants alias “Romaña”, alias “El Paisa” and alias “Jesús Santrich”, his close friend, died in different places and dates. This newspaper learned that the loss of Santrich plunged him into deep sadness. Both spent years together in different places in Venezuela, always under the protective wing of Chavismo.
Some sources indicated a few days ago that the former FARC commander was seeking to travel to another Latin American dictatorship, Cuba or Nicaragua, because he no longer felt safe in the Bolivarian nation. Not only by the other FARC but by the bounty hunters. He must have been worried about the loss of his enemy, Gentil Duarte, another former commander who also passed through Havana during the peace negotiations but also preferred to continue committing crimes afterwards. Just like the deaths of his strong men, all in Venezuelan territory. No one could feel safe anymore in the Chavista sanctuary.
It is not yet clear if Romaña, El Paisa or Santrich were killed by their rivals, by mercenaries or by the Colombian Army. Caracas has always kept silent so as not to be exposed since they have never recognized their complicity with the guerrillas.
For the location or capture of Márquez, considered the boss of one of the most powerful drug cartels, the United States offered ten million dollars. The Bogota newspaper El Tiempo points out that there is a possibility that he is not dead and they intend to hand him over to North America.
Last week Senator Iván Cepeda, from the Polo Democrático and member of Gustavo Petro’s Historical Pact, had suggested including Márquez in a peace process, despite the fact that he took up arms again and his gang, in addition to being a drug trafficker, is responsible for countless murders. He was responding to a message from Iván Márquez announcing his support for the Petro government and his willingness to dialogue.
It should be noted that Álvaro Leyva, who will be Gustavo Petro’s new foreign minister, has always been very close to the old FARC and after Santrich’s death, he paid tribute to him in public.
Márquez needed, therefore, to arrive alive on August 7, the date on which Petro will take office, to regain his peace of mind and start talking to the new government that would give him a second chance.
About twenty arrest warrants weighed on Márquez for different serious crimes such as homicides, kidnapping, terrorism, forced disappearance and recruitment of minors, among others.
He was born in Florencia, department of Caquetá, in the south of Colombia, in 1955. He belonged to the Communist Youth, studied some law courses in the former Soviet Union and when he was 22 years old he joined the FARC, who were always very strong in their native region. The visible head of the negotiating team of the terrorist group in Cuba, after signing the peace, he was elected senator, with hardly any votes, by virtue of the pact that granted ten seats to the guerrillas. But he never took office and soon after announced the founding of the New Marquetalia to the country.
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