April 5, 2013 / 6:17 PM / 7 years ago

Colombian FARC leader Catatumbo to join peace talks - source

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian FARC leader Pablo Catatumbo will join rebel negotiators already in Havana for peace talks, a security source said, in a bid to rally more support from rank and file guerrillas to end Colombia’s five-decade conflict.

Catatumbo, who is sought by the United States for drug trafficking, has already left Colombia for Cuba, the source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

Government negotiators and leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, have been in talks since November to find a way to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands since it began in 1964.

It was not immediately clear if Catatumbo will replace an existing negotiator.

Some observers reckon the current FARC team, headed by Ivan Marquez, does not represent the entire group, which many believe has become fractured and unable to communicate following a ten-year military offensive that has killed top commanders and pushed the guerrillas into remote areas.

Catatumbo is one of the FARC’s six-member leadership known as the Secretariat.

Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Vicki Allen

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