Bogotá, Colombia: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas have confirmed the death of their leader, better-known by his nom de guerre Alfonso Cano. The militia rejected government calls to demobilize, issued in the wake of Cano's death, and said that no such move was possible without "the abolition of the causes that gave birth to the uprising."
The guerrillas issued a press statement on Saturday on the website of rebel-friendly news agency Anncol.
According to the statement signed by the FARC's secretariat, "Peace in Colombia will not be born from any guerrilla demobilization, but the abolition of the causes that gave birth to the uprising. There is a political line which will be continued," the rebel leadership added.
The FARC, the oldest and biggest insurgency active in Latin America, has lost five of their most prominent leaders in the past four years and have lost the control over a large part of Colombian territory in the past ten years largely because of a US-backed government offensive.
Cano's body was found without his trademark beard or thick glasses and the authorities had to identify it using fingerprints. The fire fight followed a bombing raid on Cano's remote camp in the south-western province of Cauca.