An audio attributed to the guerrilla leader Ivan Marquez refutes his death, which was announced a few weeks ago. Marquez was one of the members of the former FARC leadership and a peace delegate of this armed organization in the Havana Dialogues. However, he was also one of the demobilized members who betrayed the agreements and returned to armed struggle. Since 2019, he has been leading the FARC dissidence known as the Second Marquetalia.
The government never confirmed his death
Several media outlets announced his death three weeks ago. Although the Colombian government never confirmed the news, various sources claimed that he died in Caracas on July 6, after being seriously injured in an ambush in Venezuelan territory in June of last year. It was said then that the attack had left him blind, with serious injuries to his head and feet.
In fact, the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, stated in July that he had spoken with Márquez by phone just a few days before his death was announced. Rueda stated that he noticed Marquez was in good health and was unaware of the sources that would confirm the alleged death.
An audio as proof of life
Yesterday, Caracol Radio released an audio in which a voice, purportedly that of the guerrilla leader, announces that he is still alive. Colombian intelligence services have confirmed the authenticity of the recording, which is therefore a clear denial of his supposed death.
Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said about the audio that he always believed “that Ivan Marquez was still alive.” Leyva confirms that the guerrilla leader was seriously injured in an attack last year but is sure that he has recovered and currently enjoys good health. “I always knew he was alive. I hinted at it when I said that those whom you declare dead are in perfect health,” he said regarding a comment he made when the media announced the death of Ivan Marquez a few weeks ago.
Although some doubt its authenticity, the audio is considered genuine and is believed to truly belong to the guerrilla leader. Ivan Marquez’s voice sounds strong and indicative of good health.
“August 2023. Comrades in arms and ideas, receive the embrace of my heart as a greeting,” the audio begins. Marquez then quotes a traditional Vallenato song in an ironic way to confirm that he is still alive. “Abel Antonio is not dead yet. Abel Antonio will die when God needs him to. I hope with these words to dispel some doubts,” Marquez said to start his speech.
In the final part of the recording, Marquez celebrates the first year of President Petro’s term, and difficulties which have been overcome. However, the guerrilla leader calls for further social reforms. In fact, he ends with a criticism of the government’s actions, which he believes “do not meet the expectations of millions of Colombians after the 2022 presidential election.”