RealNews

Dissident Chief of Force Killed in Colombia

Assassins in Colombia have killed a dissident leader of a right-wing paramilitary force who had harshly criticized his colleagues for trafficking in drugs as the organization embarked on American-backed disarmament negotiations with President Álvaro Uribe, Colombian officials said. The leader, Carlos Mauricio García, 39, who went by the name Rodrigo Franco, was shot in the head as he walked along a trendy beachfront stretch on Friday night in the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta. Though no arrest has been made, Mr. García knew he had been a target since breaking with other commanders of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia while publicly accusing them of forming a drug cartel. “What could happen to me, that they kill me with a bigger bullet if they find me, or that they kill me several times?” Mr. García had said in April in an e-mail message to The New York Times in which he outlined the Self-Defense Force’s ties to the cocaine trade. His death means that the two paramilitary commanders most critical of the group’s connections to drug trafficking are now gone. Full Story

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