Rodrigo Londoño, Timoleon Jimenez aka Timochenko, 52 years old, was appointed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as the group’s new commander in chief, after the murder of Alfonso Cano. Cano in 2008 succeeded Pedro Antonio Marin, alias Manuel or Tirofijo Marulanda, founder of the longest-running guerrilla war in Latin America in 1964.
“We want to inform you that Comrade Timoleon Jimenez, by the unanimous vote of the Secretariat of his companions (a sort of steering committee composed of seven members) was appointed on November 5 as the new commander of the FARC-EP (People’s Army, the group’s full name concrete), “it said in a note published on the website of the ‘Agencia Bolivariana de Prensa’ (ABP), one of the organs through which the guerrillas communicate.
With the appointment of Timochenko “ensures the continuity of the Strategic Plan to the taking of power by the people,” it said. Timochenko’s face is one of the least known among the rebel commanders: in his most recent appearances was in a video from May 2008 in which the FARC confirmed the death, from natural causes, of Tirofijo.
Soon after the killing of Cano, after a massive military operation conducted in south-western department of Cauca, the FARC had rejected the exhortation to abandon their armed struggle directed by President Juan Manuel Santos. It is estimated that, despite significant losses over the last decade, including those of leading members, the FARC still has 8,000 combatants.