Colombian rebel to get millions of dollars for killing his boss
( dpa ) - A Colombian rebel who turned himself in after killing his boss is set to get a reward of almost 2.7 million dollars from the government, a spokesman for the Colombian Defence Ministry told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Wednesday.
Pablo Montoya turned himself in to the authorities last week after killing Ivan Rios, a member of the leadership of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He brought Rios' dismembered hand, personal documents and a computer as proof of the killing.
The Defence Ministry initially denied the rebel the reward money, in order to check that he had indeed killed Rios.
There has been a national debate in Colombia over the propriety of giving Montoya the reward. Some have argued against doing so, saying the system was supposed to encourage rebels to provide information on their leaders not commit murder. Others have stressed the need to maintain the credibility of the reward system by paying out.
However, Caracol Radio reported that despite the payment of the reward, Montoya is likely to be the subject of criminal proceedings over the death of his boss.
Rios was the youngest person in the seven-member FARC Secretariat. His death was the second severe blow to the group over several days, after FARC number two Raul Reyes was killed on March 1 in a cross border raid by Colombian planes that bombed a FARC camp in Ecuador.
The killings were the first among the Secretariat since FARC was founded in 1964. Political analysts in Bogota have said the fact that a rebel commander can be killed by his own men shows the magnitude of the internal crisis in Colombia's largest rebel group.