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Top FARC suspect reportedly captured in Ecuador

  • Story Highlights
  • Officials believe top guerrilla leader captured in drug raid, police chief says
  • Man thought to be Sixto Antonio Cabana Guillen, a FARC rebel leader in Colombia
  • Officials are waiting for verification from Interpol, reports say
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QUITO, Ecuador (CNN) -- Authorities in Ecuador said they have captured a top guerrilla leader belonging to the Marxist FARC group from neighboring Colombia, news outlets reported Wednesday.

Ecuadorian National Police Chief Jaime Hurtado said Wednesday that officials are nearly 100 percent certain that the man captured in a recent drug raid is Sixto Antonio Cabana Guillen, a leader for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym FARC.

Officials are waiting for verification from Interpol, the international police agency, said Colombia's Caracol Radio and El Tiempo newspaper and El Diario Hoy newspaper in Ecuador.

The man, who was using the name Mario Domingo Guerrero Biojo, was captured last week in a drug bust in Esmeraldas province, the news outlets reported. He is being held in Quito, Ecuador's capital, pending positive identification.

Two of the news outlets quoted government minister Gustavo Jalhk as saying that if the man is confirmed to be Cabana, "one of the possibilities is that he is tried here in Ecuador and then turned over to international authorities or, according to the accords in the international statutes in place at this time, take other judicial measures."

Ecuador broke diplomatic relations with Colombia in March 2008 after a Colombian military attack against a FARC camp inside Ecuador. The attack killed 25 people, including rebel leader Raul Reyes, four Mexicans and an Ecuadorian, reports said.

Colombia recently said seven FARC leaders are operating in Venezuela and two are in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian officials said Wednesday that Cabana's arrest was unrelated to the Colombian report.

Jalhk, the Ecuadorian official, said his government asked Colombia for more information through the Organization of American States but has not received a reply.

"This detention was the product of work by the National Police," Caracol Radio quoted him as saying.

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