Key facts on Alfonso Cano, chief of FARC rebels

AP News
Posted: Nov 04, 2011 11:20 PM
Key facts on Alfonso Cano, chief of FARC rebels

Key facts about Alfonso Cano, chief of Colombia's main rebel army reported killed in military raid:

BORN: Guillermo Leon Saenz on July 22, 1948, into middle-class Bogota family. Later takes alias "Alfonso Cano."

YOUTH: Bookish anthropology student at Universidad Nacional in 1970s, joined Communist Youth and became a leader. Is briefly jailed for rebellion.

REBELS: Joined Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in 1982. Became a favorite of FARC co-founder Jacobo Arenas, who died of cancer in 1990. In 1984, named to FARC's seven-man leadership. Became leader in July 2008 after death of longtime commander Manuel "Sureshot" Marulanda.

PEACE TALKS: Cano among FARC negotiators at peace talks in Venezuela and Mexico in early 1990s. Also participated in failed 1999-2002 negotiations and named head in 2000 of clandestine political movement.

REWARD: In March 2006, U.S. State Department indicted Cano and 49 other top FARC leaders on drug trafficking charges. It offered $5 million reward for him.

QUOTE: "While other FARC commanders were talking about blowing up bridges, Cano would be sitting around reading a book," said Carlos Lozano, editor of Communist Party newspaper Voz and longtime mediator.