In his first public statement as leader of the rebel group, the FARC’s new commander-in-chief, alias ‘Timochenko,’ labeled the Colombian government’s response to the death of ‘Alfonso Cano’ as arrogant.
In a message posted to the group’s website, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry, alias “Timochenko,” criticized President Juan Manuel Santos and Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon for using disproportionate force against the guerrilla group.
The rebel leader accused Colombian officials of using the dead bodies of guerrillas to humilliate and intimidate the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and warned that this type of propaganda would backfire on the government.
Timochenko is only the third person to lead the guerrilla group in its almost 50-year history. He was named commander-in-chief following the death of Guillermo Leon Saenz, alias “Alfonso Cano,” who was killed by government forces on November 4.
Timochenko is reputedly a strong military commander with a background in counter-intelligence and intelligence operations, experience he gained as a long-time FARC commander in the Magdalena Medio region.
The FARC’s ability to transmit its revolutionary messages online via its website may be increasingly important as the government has announced it has shut down the rebels’ main radio station. Colombia’s Army said it had located and confiscated radio equipment used to broadcast “The Voice of the Resistence,” a station that transmitted FARC messages to eastern and central Colombia.
SEE ALSO: Profile of Timochenko