RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Interpol issued red notices against four commanders of the FARC dissidents, among them its top leader, alias “Iván Márquez”, who is wanted by the Colombian courts for crimes against humanity and drug trafficking, the police announced on Monday (16).
The director of the Colombian Police, General Jorge Luis Vargas, said in a statement to journalists that the measure is also against Hernán Darío Velásquez, alias “el Paisa”; Henry Castellanos Garzón, alias “Romaña” and José Vicente Lesmes, alias “Walter Mendoza”.
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“We ask Interpol’s partner countries in the world, 194, but especially Venezuela, to locate them so that they can be extradited to Colombia to answer for the crimes for which they have been accused and charged: terrorism, homicide, forced displacement, and other crimes against humanity, in addition to drug trafficking,” said General Vargas.
The Colombian government insists that several FARC and ELN leaders take refuge in Venezuela, where they also receive protection from that country.
The police explained in a statement that in the case of “El Paisa,” the red notice is for the attack on the El Nogal Club and the massacre of councilmen in the department of Huila. In February 2003, the FARC set off a car bomb in that exclusive club in Bogota that killed 36 people and injured more than 200.
According to investigations, the FARC’s Teófilo Forero Mobile Column assassinated nine council members in the municipality of Rivera, 15 kilometers from Neiva, Huila, and wounded four more people.
“Iván Márquez”, who was the chief peace negotiator of that guerrilla, as well as “El Paisa”, “Romaña” and “Walter Mendoza”, abandoned the peace agreement signed with the Government in 2016, and on August 29, 2019, announced their return to arms, alleging a “betrayal of the State to the Havana peace agreement”.