FARC CO-ORDINATOR ARRESTED

Police have arrested Spanish national Maria Remedios Garcia Albert who they allege is a representative of the left-wing Colombian rebel group Farc in Spain. She was detained near Madrid last Friday, as part of a joint operation by the Spanish and Colombian authorities. She faces charges of being part of an armed group and managing the rebel group’s finances in Europe. The Colombian authorities have recently warned that large amounts of money raised from cocaine by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – or Farc – are often invested in Europe and said there would be more detentions of Farc liaisons on this side of the Atlantic. In a statement, police alleged that under the cover of her job with a non-governmental organisation, Sra Garcia provided organisational support and funds to the Farc. They said she had travelled to Colombia last year, to hold operational meetings with the militant group’s secretariat. They said she took direct orders from senior Farc commander Raul Reyes until he was killed by the Colombian army in March. Information from his computer hard drive is said to have led the police to Sra Garcia. At her home in San Lorenzo del Escorial, north west of Madrid, officers recovered a computer and documents, allegedly referring to the Farc. It is claimed that Ms Garcia helped co-ordinate the group’s wider activities in Europe, allegedly liasing with counterparts in Switzerland and Sweden. Farc, which has waged a 44-year civil war in Colombia, is considered a terrorist group by the EU and the US.

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