Timoleón Jiménez

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Timoleón Jiménez
Timochenko-GoraHerria.jpg
President of FARC
Assumed office
September 1, 2017
Preceded byPosition established
Commander-in-Chief of FARC-EP
Assumed office
November 2011
Preceded byAlfonso Cano
Personal details
Born
Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri

(1959-01-22) January 22, 1959 (age 61)
Calarcá, Quindío, Colombia
Military service
Nickname(s)
  • Timoleón Jiménez,
  • Timochenko
AllegianceFlag of the FARC-EP.svg FARC-EP
Years of service1982–present
RankSupreme Leader
CommandsMiddle Magdalena Bloc
Battles/warsColombian conflict

Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri (born January 22, 1959), most known under the nom de guerre Timoleón Jiménez and the nickname Timochenko or Timochenco, was the former supreme leader of the rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the current president of the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force political party with the same acronym (FARC).

Early life[edit]

'Timochenko' was born in 1959 shortly after the Cuban Revolution[1] in Calarcá, Quindío, Colombia, near the birthplace of Pedro Antonio Marín, a founder of FARC-EP.[2] His family were supporters of communism.[3]

After finishing high school, Timochenko joined the Young Communists League. He studied at medicine and cardiology Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow.[1] He completed his studies in Cuba.[4] He later traveled to Yugoslavia for military training.[1]

FARC-EP[edit]

'Timochenko' during his time in FARC-EP

Upon his return to Colombia, those who knew him said he had become decidedly more radical. Londoño joined the FARC-EP in 1982 after being introduced to the rebel group by Miller Chacon.[1][3]

Supreme leader[edit]

Timochenko took over the FARC-EP leadership in November 2011[5] from Alfonso Cano after the leader was killed by the Colombian army.

With more than 30 years of guerilla war experience and a reputation of being a ruthless military commander he "has widespread respect among the rank-and-file, particularly the hardliners that form the core of the rural fighters".[6] According to the Colombian Air Force his alias is referring to Soviet Marshal Semyon Timoshenko.[7] Before assuming the leadership of the guerrilla group, Timochenko was one of the commanders of the Middle Magdalena Bloc of the FARC-EP and was thought to have some 800 men under his command.

Peace process[edit]

According to Foreign Policy, "Timochenko was instrumental in keeping the FARC from abandoning" the Colombian peace process, announcing in November 2012 the beginning of dialogue with the Colombian government.[3]

During this time, 'Timochenko' experienced health issues. In 2015, Jiménez suffered a heart attack.[8] In November 2016, the Colombian government and FARC-EP reached a deal, with the FARC-EP transitioning from guerilla status to a political party.[3]

Political career[edit]

Party foundation[edit]

In the morning of 2 July 2017, he checked himself into a hospital in Villavicencio after feeling exhaustion and numbness in his arm. Doctors said that he was in intensive care and there was a temporary blockage of blood to his brain.[9]

Between 28 and 31 August 2017, a month after being hospitalized for a cerebral embolism,[10] Timochenko led the founding congress of the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) party at the Bogota Convention Centre with the participation of one thousand delegates.[11] In a speech on 1 September 2017, party leader Timochenko proposed a transitional government for the 2018–2022 term.[12] On 31 October 2017, FARC was named a legal political party in Colombia.[13]

2018 Colombian presidential election[edit]

On 1 November 2017, twenty-four hours after FARC was made a legal political party, Timochenko launched a presidential bid for the 2018 Colombian presidential election.[13] During this time, he had the lowest polling figures among the Colombian public.[14] In March 2018, he was hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome, underwent heart surgery[8] and subsequently ended his presidential campaign.[14]

Controversy[edit]

According to the United States Department of State, Timoleon Jimenez has set the FARC-EP’s cocaine policies directing and controlling the production, manufacture, and distribution of hundreds of tons of cocaine to the United States and the world, including the "taxation" of the illegal drug trade in Colombia to raise funds for the FARC-EP and the murder of hundreds of people who violated or interfered with the FARC-EP’s cocaine policies.[15]

According to the U.S. Department of State, in 2000, along with Pastor Alape, he ordered the Magdalena Medio Bloc to retake coca territory, shoot down fumigation aircraft, increase coca production, kidnap United States citizens and kill any farmer who sold cocaine paste to non-FARC-EP approved buyers. The U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "¿Quién es 'Timochenko', el jefe máximo de las Farc?". EFE (in Spanish). 23 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Designan al nuevo jefe de las FARC". El Informador (in Spanish). 16 November 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "FP's 2017 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  4. ^ Alias Timochenko, lasillavacia.com (1 November 2016)
  5. ^ "FARC appoints 'Timochenko' as new supreme leader". Colombia Reports. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  6. ^ Colombia's FARC rebels choose hardliner 'Timochenko' to lead - CSMonitor.com
  7. ^ Timochenko will be the new target for the Armed Forces, Colombian Air Force (9 November 2011)
  8. ^ a b "Ex-Colombia guerrilla leader hospitalized with chest pain". ABC News. March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "FARC leader Timochenko hospitalised". News.com.au. 3 July 2017.
  10. ^ "FARC leader Timochenko hospitalised". News.com.au. 3 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Así llegarán las Farc al Congreso". El Espectador (in Spanish). 28 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  12. ^ "El día en que las Farc se tomaron la plaza de Bolivar" (in Spanish). Las2orillas. 2 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Colombia: las FARC confirman que su ex máximo comandante, Rodrigo Londoño "Timochenko", será candidato a la presidencia". BBC Mundo. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b Miranda, Boris (9 March 2018). "Por qué algunos ven la renuncia de Rodrigo Londoño, alias Timochenko, a las elecciones presidenciales en Colombia como "una buena noticia" para la FARC". BBC Mundo. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  15. ^ a b US Department of State: Rodrigo Londoño-EcheverryAccessed November 15, 2011

External links[edit]