Colombian President Manuel Santos said that Pablo Benito Cabrera, alias “Fabian Ramirez,” a top leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), is “apparently” dead after the Colombian military bombed a guerrilla camp in the south of the country, Semana is reporting.
Cabrera, whose brother is in a Virginia prison and is facing drug trafficking charges in the United States, is a member of the FARC’s top command structure and the head of the group’s Southern Bloc, a guerrilla faction responsible for selling large amounts of coca base and processed cocaine to Mexican organizations such as the Juarez and Tijuana Cartels.
Cabrera was also responsible for the kidnapping of Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2002, and taking three U.S. Pentagon contractors captive after their airplane went down in the territory where he operates. Preliminary reports say that Cabrera may have perished in virtually the same place where he took these various captives. The four were freed in a dramatic rescue in July 2008.
If Cabrera is dead it would be another blow to the FARC, a group that appears to be reeling. In September, the military bombed and killed rebel leader Jorge Briceno Suarez, alias “Mono Jojoy,” the guerrillas’ military commander.
The FARC’s spiritual leader Pedro Marin, alias “Manuel Marulanda,” died in 2008, just weeks after its second in commander died when Colombian Air Force bombed his camp just inside the Ecuadorian border. Thousands of rebels have voluntarily demobilized as the Colombian military has strangled the group’s supply lines.