Pablo Catatumbo, a senior commander of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), has arrived in Cuba to join the ongoing peace talks between the rebel group and the government of Colombia.
On Sunday, the FARC published a statement saying Catatumbo had arrived in Havana over the weekend. The statement read: “Colombia’s destiny cannot be war … let’s move forward with the fight for peace and social justice.” The statement did not say if Catatumbo would replace another member of the FARC’s negotiating team or not.
Catatumbo, whose real name is Jorge Torres Victoria, heads a strong FARC unit in southern Colombia, and is a member of the FARC’s seven-member leadership group known as the Secretariat. On Saturday, the Colombian army suspended operations in the southwest area of the country to allow the FARC leader to leave Colombia for peace talks in Havana.
Talks between the FARC rebels and the Colombian government have been continuing since November 2012 in an attempt to end the conflict in the country.
FARC is Latin America’s oldest insurgent group and has been battling the government since 1964. The rebel organization has some 8,000 fighters operating across a large swathe of the eastern jungles of the Andean nation.