Colombia's FARC guerrillas named Timoleon Jimenez, known as Timochenko, as the group's new leader after its previous boss was killed this month, according to a rebel statement published on a website.
In one of the largest strikes against the guerrillas, Colombian forces killed FARC leader Alfonso Cano on November 4. But the insurgents vowed to fight on, dampening hopes that his death might bring the nation closer to peace.
We want to inform you that Comrade Timoleon Jimenez, with a unanimous vote by his companions in the secretariat, was designated on November 5 as the new commander of the FARC, said a statement published on a news website called the Bolivarian Press Agency that usually carries messages from the rebels.
Timochenko, 52, has been a member of the seven-member ruling secretariat since the early 1990s. He is believed to operate in the Norte de Santander province on the border with Venezuela.
The FARC new leader has been a member of the group since the early 1980s and has at least 117 outstanding warrants.
Colombia which has become Latin America's number four oil producer has been successful in fighting back the Marxist oriented, drugs financed rebels since launching a US-funded military crackdown in 2002.
The improved political and stability situation has attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment making the Colombian peso one of the strongest currencies in the region. However ambushes, bombings and combat still happen regularly in certain areas of the country.
After the killing of Alfonso Cano, President Juan Manuel Gomez called on the guerrillas groups to demobilize, pointing out that the government will continue with its policy of clearing the country of armed insurgents.