A brutal drug lord with a $2.5m (€1.88m) bounty on his head and reputed ties to right-wing militias died during clashes with security forces in southern Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos announced.
Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, also know as The Knife, led the so-called Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia that protected coca harvests and drug trafficking routes in eastern Colombia, according to US officials.
Mr Santos said Guerrero’s body was found near Puerto Alvira in Meta province, about 200 miles south-east of the capital, Bogota. Authorities found with him two pistols and a knife.
“That knife is a silent witness to at least 3,000 killings, ordered or executed, by this Colombian criminal who has finally fallen,” Mr Santos said, without providing more details of the killings figure he gave.
“The killer of killers has fallen,” Colombia’s president said in a news conference,
The operation began on December 24 and involved the police and air force.
Officials on Tuesday said they had found a body that resembled Guerrero but it was not until yesterday that they confirmed it was him using fingerprints, he said. Two police officers also died in the operation.
Mr Santos said that authorities had been after Guerrero for many years and his death “demonstrates the courage and determination” of Colombia’s armed forces and police.