Colombia: top rebel trafficker slain

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2011 10:14 PM
Colombia: top rebel trafficker slain

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says troops have killed a top FARC rebel who supplied Mexican traffickers with cocaine and managed finances and arms dealings for the guerrillas' powerful Southern Bloc.

Santos told reporters that Olidem Romel Solarte Ceron, alias "Oliver Solarte," was killed Monday in a joint forces operation near San Miguel, a town bordering Ecuador.

The 39-year-old Solarte was wanted by the United States on drug trafficking charges.

His importance to Latin America's last surviving leftist rebel army was discovered in electronic messages found in computers belonging to Raul Reyes, the FARC leader Colombia killed in a cross-border raid into Ecuador in 2008 not far from where Solarte was said to have fallen.