Two powerful Colombian rebel leaders have been killed in Venezuela, according to media reports.
Hernan Dario Velasquez, known as El Paisa, and Henry Castellanos Garzon, known as Romana, were killed during a fight with rival gangs in the Venezuelan state of Apure, Colombian media reported on Tuesday, citing intelligence circles.
“It is good news that these agents of terror, evil, drug trafficking, recruitment of minors and anti-personnel mines are no longer wreaking havoc,” Colombian President Ivan Duque said. “And it shows that the bandits are not safe anywhere.”
The two rebels commanded splinter groups of the paramilitary group FARC, which operates in the border region between Colombia and Venezuela.
The FARC concluded a peace treaty with the government in 2016 and laid down its arms, officially settling a civil war that left more than 220,000 dead and millions displaced.
However, many former FARC rebels took up arms again and are involved in protection rackets and drug trafficking.
Romana was one of the most feared FARC leaders and is considered the mastermind behind mass kidnappings in the 1990s.
El Paisa was the commander of an elite FARC unit and was sentenced to many years in prison for, among other things, a bombing in Bogota that left 36 dead and 200 injured.