Colombia Mourns Conservative Mayoral Candidate as FARC War Heats Up

Orley García
Orley García/Facebook

Orley García, conservative candidate for the mayorship of Toledo, Antioquia, Colombia, became the latest victim of suspected Marxist FARC terrorism, dying after being shot 13 times, El Tiempo reported Sunday.

García joins Karina García Sierra, mayoral candidate killed while campaigning in Cauca, and Betsaida Montejo Pérez, who survived a grenade attack on her home in San Calixto, where she is running for mayor. The three are the latest victims of an active assassination campaign by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), communist narco-terrorist organizations active in the country.

Under former President Juan Manuel Santos, Bogotá legalized the FARC as a political party and granted it ten seats in the Colombian Senate uncontested. Two of the men who received those seats, terrorists “Jesús Santrich” and “Iván Márquez,” appeared in a video two weeks ago announcing that, despite the peace deal agreement, the FARC would once again take up arms and kill people who stood in the way of its vast cocaine empire.

The disintegration of the FARC deal followed the arrest this year of Santrich, who is still technically a senator, for allegedly trying to smuggle 10,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States after signing the 2016 peace deal.

The nominal head of the FARC, the terrorist “Timochenko,” has publicly opposed the new war and claimed that 90 percent of FARC terrorists have given up violence. Many mainstream media sites refer to the FARC leadership that called for a new war on the Colombian government as “dissidents” because “Timochenko” has not joined them.

Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for legitimizing the FARC.

El Tiempo, one of Colombia’s largest newspapers, reported on Sunday that García was shot “over ten times” and taken as quickly as possible to a nearby hospital, but “due to his critical state, it became necessary to transport him to the regional capital,” Medellín. He died on the flight over.

Police have reportedly not arrested anyone in connection with the killing. Col. Giovanny Buitrago, the commander of Antioquia’s police forces, told reporters that García was shot in the back by someone hiding in the shrubbery of the rural area where he was working on his mayoral campaign. The wounds appeared to be, he said, from a shotgun.

Colombia’s RCN radio reported that “initial reports” indicate that “FARC dissidents” were responsible for the murder. The individual leading the particular group of FARC terrorists believed to be responsible for the murder, known as “Cabuyo,” is also believed to be responsible for “the murder of three Continental Gold geologists in September 2018,” according to RCN.

The Argentine outlet Infobae noted following García’s death that Colombia’s national ombudsman office has documented 15 homicides and 192 threats against individuals campaigning for political office nationwide this year alone.

García’s death closely follows that of Karina García Sierra, who aspired to be the mayor of Suárez, Cauca, on the other side of the country. García Sierra, her mother, an allied city council candidate, and three others were found dead in their vehicles last weekend, apparently shot to death. The vehicle also appeared to have been burned. Authorities traced the death back to another FARC “dissident” terrorist, known as “Majimbu,” and offered nearly $45,000 for information on his whereabouts.

García Sierra had warned shortly before her death that she had received threats from “armed groups” to cease her campaign, and urged her opponents to stop using incendiary language against her. “My God, don’t be irresponsible, this could have fatal consequences for me,” she pleaded in a video published on her social media sites.

Montejo, the candidate for mayorship of San Calixto, North Santander, was not home when a grenade crashed into her bedroom and exploded. That attack also occurred last week, in a town notorious as a hotbed of FARC and ELN drug trafficking activities. Unlike García Sierra, Montejo had not made any public attacks on local terrorist groups in her campaign.

Orley García was a member of the Democratic Center, a conservative, anti-terrorist political party that staunchly opposed the peace deal with the FARC. Shortly after his death, the head of the party, former President Álvaro Uribe, published a FARC missive distributed in central Viotá, Colombia, threatening Democratic Center candidates with violence if they did not stop campaigning.

“Death to Uribe’s paramilitaries,” the letter is titled. “We have decided to once again take up armed activities and from this moment on we declare Uribe’s candidates our military targets.”

Uribe, who imported the American counter-terrorism strategy used in Afghanistan to force the FARC into exile in Cuba during his tenure, posted a video campaigning with Democratic Center candidates and vowing not to hide.

“We will not abandon our candidates … if criminals are looking for us to hide, they had better be the ones looking for hiding spots because with the armed forces and the constitution we will travel the country to support our candidates and democracy,” Uribe said.

The true FARC dissidents — the individuals in the FARC who have condemned the current terrorism campaign — are currently denouncing the Colombian government for rescinding the immunity granted to some FARC terrorists as part of the 2016 peace deal the group has overtly abandoned.

Prensa Latina, a Cuban state outlet, reported this week that FARC leaders are condemning the arrest of “comrade” Edwin Murillo, a FARC terrorist, for crimes committed during his active tenure in the group.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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