Colombia rebels call to boost fight after leader`s death

Colombia`s biggest guerrilla group called on its members to intensify their struggle following the death of military leader Jorge Briceno, killed in a government raid last week.

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 10:51 AM IST

Bogota: Colombia`s biggest guerrilla group
called on its members to intensify their struggle following
the death of military leader Jorge Briceno, killed in a
government raid last week.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia`s secretariat
announced Briceno`s death on their website in a statement
dated September 25.
"With profound sorrow... we inform the Colombian people
and our Latin American brother that Commander Jorge
Briceno... was killed in combat alongside his men," the
statement yesterday said.

The group called on its guerrillas to step up their fight
against the Colombian government after Briceno`s death in the
September 25 raid, which it said also killed nine other
"comrades."

"To the revolutionary fighters of the the country, we
call on you to intensify your battle and your efforts for
freedom and change," the statement said.

The FARC named Felix Antonio Munoz, known as Pastor
Alape, to replace Briceno as head of the political bureau.

It said Mauricio Jaramillio, a Briceno confidant, would
take over leadership of the powerful "western bloc" guerrilla
unit the deceased militant headed.
The statement came days after the bold Colombian armed
forces assault on a rebel camp that killed Briceno, whose real
name was either Victor Julio Suarez or Luis Suarez, along with
other members of the the nation`s oldest insurgency.

Defence officials called the raid Thursday the "hardest
blow ever" against the leftist guerrillas.

FARC is active in close to half of Colombia`s territory,
and is believed to have at least 8,000 troops. It has refused
demobilisation and amnesty campaigns, stepping up its attacks
and hostage-taking.

Separately yesterday, the country`s attorney general
Alejandro Ordonez recommended the impeachment of a Colombian
lawmaker known for negotiating with FARC for the release of
hostages.

Piedad Cordoba faces the loss of her seat and being
barred for running for office for the next 18 years amid
accusations she collaborated with the militant group and
promoted their cause.

PTI