Bogota – The Colombian Attorney General's Office authorized Saturday the return of the body of Guillermo Leon Saenz, alias "Alfonso Cano," top leader of the FARC, to his family.
The 63-year-old Cano was killed in a military operation on Nov. 4 in a mountainous region of Cauca province between the southwestern towns of Suarez and Morales as he attempted to escape a bombing raid.
"The legal medicine institute is ready to hand over the body," Attorney General Viviane Morales told reporters during her visit to the agency's new facilities in Bogota.
Without specifying when the body would be returned, she said it was up to the family of the top leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to carry out the necessary procedures to get it back.
For his part, the director of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Carlos Eduardo Valdes, told reporters that he is waiting for Cano's family members to apply for the body to be handed over to them.
Up to now, the only person who has taken the first step to secure the body is Alfonso Cano's brother, Carlos Roberto Saenz, a Bogota councilman of the leftist Progresista Party.
The guerrilla chief, an anthropologist by profession, had been almost 40 years with the FARC, of which he became maximum leader in 2008 following the death from natural causes of Pedro Antonio Marin - alias "Manuel Marulanda" and "Tirofijo," or Sureshot - founder and until then head of that guerrilla organization that had been in arms since 1964.
Alfonso Cano died of a heart condition on March 26, 2008 when he was almost 80 years old, according to a report by the FARC's central command at the time.