FARC leader Timochenko first to testify before Colombia’s war crimes tribunal
FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, a.k.a. “Timochenko,” had his first day in court on Thursday to tell Colombia’s war crimes tribunal about his involvement in mass kidnapping during the armed conflict.
Timochenko was the first of 31 FARC commanders who have been called to appear before the court, marking a historic step in the country’s peace process that began in 2016.
Timochenko is expected to respond to the “ley 002,” a declaration that the FARC would kidnap anyone who refused to pay their extortion fees the FARC needed to finance their operations.
The FARC has a long history of using kidnapping to finance its operations and is on trial for between 2,500 and 8,500 alleged kidnappings between 1993 and 2012, the year that the FARC leader on trial banned the practice.
In 2002 at the height of the practice the FARC allegedly kidnapped more than 1000 people. More than 2000 were committed that same year by other actors, according to defense ministry statistics.