Manuel Marulanda

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Pedro Antonio Marín
Nickname "Manuel Marulanda Vélez"
"Tiro Fijo"
Allegiance Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Rebellion
Narcotrafficking
Socialism
Rank Secretariat member, Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

Pedro Antonio Marín, (1930-2008) known by his pseudonym, Manuel Marulanda Vélez, and nicknamed by his comrades "Tirofijo" (English: Sureshot), apparently because of a reputed ability to accurately aim firearms. He was the main leader of the FARC-EP ("Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejército del Pueblo"). He was born on May 13, 1930[1] (a date that has been disputed), in a coffee-growing region of west-central Colombia in the Quindío Department, to a peasant family[2] politically aligned with the Liberal Party during La Violencia.

Marulanda himself changed his political and ideological inclinations to the Communist Party (PCC) sometime during the period of "La Violencia" (roughly 1948 to 1958) that followed the assassination of the Liberal Party's leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán.

He has been considered to be seriously ill, and his death has been reported several times throughout his long career as a guerrilla, but the status of his health remains uncertain.

In March 2006, Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General of the United States, announced in conjunction with DEA and Department of Justice officials that the State Department had placed a $5 million dollar reward on Tirofijo's head, or for information leading to his capture. [3]

According to a Brazilian journal, he seems to have sufffered from some form of cancer. There also seem to have been disputes on leadership (of the FARC) in January 2008.[4]

His death has been reported several times; He seems to have died of a heart attack in May 2008[5] This has now been confirmed.

A Colombian newspaper published an interview with the defense minister of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos on the 24th of May, 2008. In it, Santos said, that Colombian intelligence agents thought, that Manuel Marulanda had died on the 26th of March 2008, either of natural causes, or through a heart attack. FARC commander ‘Timochenko’ confirmed on May 25 Telesur that ‘Manuel Marulanda’ died of a heart attack, as announced earlier by the Colombian government and the Colombian armed forces[6][7]

This information was confirmed on the 25th of May: Marulanda had died of a heart attack.[8]

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