HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Govt Organizing FARC Leader’s Medical Treatment: Lawmakers
BRIEF

Venezuela Govt Organizing FARC Leader's Medical Treatment: Lawmakers

ALFONSO CANO / 23 SEP 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Three Venezuelan congressmen are claiming that a hospital close to the Colombian border has prepared a sick room for FARC commander Guillermo Leon Saenz, alias “Alfonso Cano.”

As the Caracas-based El Universal reports, three congressmen from the Venezuelan border state of Tachira are expressing alarm over an apparent federal intervention at the Central Hospital in the capital city of San Cristobal. Leomagno Flores, Abelardo Diaz and Homero Ruiz told the Venezuelan daily that they had reason to believe the hospital had been taken over by Ministry of Health officials.

“We have reliable information that a room in Central Hospital is being prepared to host a senior leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which could be Alfonso Cano,” Flores said. He also claimed that federal officials had cleared the hospital of several key employees in an effort to keep the move a secret. According to Flores, “They not only removed the police, they removed hospital personnel with ties to the regional government, because they are trying to run a hidden operation.”

Flores alleged that the FARC commander may be in need of urgent medical care, noting that the hospital is the site of government-provided advanced medical technology.

The lawmakers' claim seems too sensational to be true. For one thing, if the Venezuelan government were going to risk such a blow to its recently-mended relations with neighboring Colombia, they would likely have taken greater care to hide it.

Additionally, Cano was most recently reported to be hiding out in the mountains Cauca and Huila provinces, in the center-west of the country, where he allegedly barely managed to escape a bomb raid on his camp in July. Considering his status as Colombia's most wanted criminal, it is improbable that he would have been able to travel undetected all the way across the country to the Venezuelan border.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 8 SEP 2016

A binational operation has reportedly disbanded one of the most wanted criminal organizations in Panama, exposing an intricate drug trafficking…

AUC / 11 JAN 2017

An international court's condemnation of the Colombian state's role in an infamous military operation in the city of Medellín speaks…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 10 SEP 2012

Several weapons that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allegedly allowed to be purchased and moved by…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…