State Department announces $5 million reward for helping arrest Colombian rebel leader

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U.S. authorities have announced a $5 million reward for information that will help arrest Wilver Villegas Palomino, one of the leaders of the Colombian left-wing radical insurgency, the National Liberation Army. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote about it on his Twitter account on Monday, September 21.

“We offer up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of terrorist defendant Wilver Villegas Palomino. The U.S. is committed to helping the Colombian government destroy and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations operating in the region,” he said.

Palomino in the Southern District of U.S. Texas was charged with drug terrorism and conspiracy to distribute cocaine internationally and directly, according to the U.S. State Department website September 18.

The agency emphasized the value of its partnership with Colombia and reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening information exchange between law enforcement agencies of the countries and efforts to eliminate local transnational criminal organizations.

It was noted that the multimillion-dollar award is part of a special program of the State Department, which has paid more than $130 million since its inception in 1986 for information leading to the detention of more than 75 major drug traffickers.

At the same time, on September 15, the Interior Minister of Colombia’s “neighbor” Nestor Reverol reported that the country’s armed forces shot down an American plane carrying drugs illegally.