CARACAS, Tuesday November 22, 2011 | Update
Western Hemisphere | Should the newly appointed leader of the guerrilla organization be in Venezuela

Santos asks help from Chávez to capture "Timochenko"

"If I had evidence that he (Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry aka "Timochenko", the newly appointed FARC leader) is in Venezuela and where he is (located), I would immediately ask President (Hugo) Chávez, who has promised me that if we know about his whereabouts, he would act immediately," Colombia s President Juan Manuel Santos said

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is on a tour of Europe (Photo: Reuters)
Tuesday November 22, 2011  04:26 PM

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday that if the new leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry aka "Timochenko," is in Venezuela, Presidente Chávez would help capture him because they agreed to it.

"If I have evidence that he ("Timochenko") is in Venezuela and where he is, I would immediately ask President (Hugo) Chávez who told me that if we know where he is, he would act right away," Santos explained.

"We made a deal with President Chávez. If we have evidence of the presence of any of these (guerrilla) commanders there, and we give him the coordinates, he would act at once and it will be," the Colombian president said.

Ailing healthcare system seeking a cure

The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.

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