BOGOTA – The presidential candidate of Colombia’s FARC, Rodrigo Londoño, known as “Timochenko” while he was a leftist guerrilla, is undergoing heart surgery after a bout of angina, personnel at Bogota’s Shaio Hospital – where he was admitted – confirmed to EFE on Wednesday.
Londoño entered the hospital last Thursday complaining of angina and suffering from chronic lung problems – “a type of emphysema” – the medical center said Tuesday evening, adding that he would undergo heart surgery when he was determined to be stable enough.
The leader of the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC), formerly the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, on Wednesday posted on the social networks a video made in his hospital room in which he urges people to vote for his party in next Sunday’s legislative elections and thanks his supporters for the messages of encouragement he has received.
“Many thanks for the messages of solidarity that I’ve received from the country, from the Colombian people and from people abroad. I know that I’m in good hands and that we’ll make it,” Londoño said.
According to RCN Radio, the FARC’s political council is scheduled on Wednesday to discuss whether Londoño will remain the party’s presidential candidate due to his health situation.
This is the second time that he has been hospitalized in Colombia, the first being in July 2017 when he suffered a slight stroke. A few days later, he was released from a Villavicencio hospital and returned to Cuba to continue treatment there.
Londoño has had assorted health problems since 2015.
The FARC, which signed a peace agreement with the Colombian government on Nov. 24, 2016, and laid down their arms, held their party convention in Bogota from Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 2017, where they established their political platform, their new name and party logo, among other things.
Londoño was elected president of the newly constituted political party on Sept. 4.