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Colombia’s RCN radio is reporting today that the military strike that killed Jorge Briceno, the No. 2 leader of the FARC rebels, was made possible thanks to a pair of orthopedic boots with a hidden GPS.
Briceno, the FARC’s top military strategist, had been targeted by the army for years but he was surrounded by several rings of security guards and always managed to escape. However, the 57-year-old comandante was known to suffer from diabetes which turned out to be the lethal chink in his armor.
Briceno required specially made combat boots because the illness produced ulcers on his feet. According to RCN, government spies overheard a radio communication requesting the footware, intercepted the package, then hid a tiny GPS tracking system inside.
“When Briceno received these boots, he didn’t realize they contained a small gift — a GPS,” said Francisco Santos, who hosts RCN’s morning news program.
After pinpointing Briceno, the Colombian military bombed his camp, killing the FARC leader and at least 20 other rebels. It is a major victory for the Colombian government and one of the worst blows the FARC has suffered in the 46-year-old war.
OK, so it’s just a radio report. But it shows that Santos, who broke the news of Briceno’s death on Thursday, is very well connected. He stepped down as vice president last month and is the cousin of new President Juan Manuel Santos.