SENIOR EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE BRIEF -- COLOMBIA: CARLOS CASTANO; FARC CLAIMS TO

Created: 12/30/1998

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Colombia:

Claims To Have Killed Paramilitary Leader

of the Revolutionary Aimed Forces of Colombia (FARC) yesterdayocal radio station thai ihey had killed Carlosihe leader of ihe United Scir-Defense Groups ofnine others during an attack onelf described spokesman for Castano said the paramilitary leader had not been heard from since the attack. Some of Castano's lieutenants claim be is sail alive.

Military authorities have confirmedlash look place but say they do not know if Castano was killed.

Ifiht FARC did kill Castano, his supporters may launch reprisals that would complicate, and perhaps delay, peace talks scheduledtobegtn next week between the government and the

Castano has sought to push insurgent groups out ofin northern Colombia and has attacked civiliansthe insurgents.Castano in recent

months had launched arole in ihe

nascent peace process, warning subordinates not to interfere with the demilitarized zone set up lo facilitate talks and to remain focused on the paramilitaries' long-terma seat at the negotiating table

reports.

efforts have incensed insurgent leaders, who dismiss himurdererool of ihe state, according to various

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