Unconfirmed reports speak of the death of guerrilla leader Iván Márquez in Venezuela. The former leader of the FARC peace delegation in the Havana process, and current head of the dissident group known as the Second Marquetalia, is said to have died in Caracas after being in a vegetative state for a year.
Colombian government does not confirm
Since June 2022, the health of guerrilla leader Iván Márquez has been the subject of speculation following a supposed attack on his camp in a border territory with Venezuela. It was then reported that he suffered severe injuries, including cranial trauma and amputation of an arm, although this was never confirmed by the Colombian government. Some media outlets have announced his death, as he was unable to recover from these injuries a year later, although the Minister of Defense has not confirmed the news. “When we have verified information, of course, we will provide it to the Colombian people,” said Iván Velásquez, the Minister of Defense.
From political leader to betraying the agreements
Luciano Marín Arango, the real name of the guerrilla leader, went from being recognized as the representative of the political wing of the now-defunct FARC to one of those who ended up betraying the peace agreements of Havana, signed between the insurgent group and the Colombian state in 2016. Marín was always seen as being closer to the political apparatus. Notably, he was a senator for the Patriotic Union, a party associated with the FARC, in the mid-1980s.
He played a significant role in Havana during the final stage of the peace negotiations that led to the demobilization of the guerrillas. When the conversations were most stalled, his contribution was decisive for the success of the process, alongside the last insurgent leader, Rodrigo Londoño.
Return to armed struggle
Márquez was supposed to take a position as a senator for the new political party FARC, one of the five seats in the Chamber of Representatives agreed upon in the Havana Accords in April 2018. However, he never took office. After the prosecution of his comrade-in-arms, Jesús Santrich, he publicly denounced the government’s non-compliance and disappeared.
Shortly afterward, a video surfaced showing him dressed in military attire and surrounded by other guerrilla leaders who had taken up arms again, announcing his break with the peace agreements and his return to armed struggle.
Much speculation has surrounded his life since then. One after another, most of the guerrilla leaders who joined the so-called FARC dissident groups (alias El Paisa, alias Romaña, alias Gentil Duarte, or alias Jesús Santrich himself) have fallen in combat, victims of actions by other rival armed groups, operations by the Colombian government, or causes that have never been fully clarified.