Timoleón Jiménez

Last updated

Timoleón Jiménez
President of Commons
Assumed office
1 September 2017
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the FARC-EP.svg FARC-EP
Years of service1982–2017
Rank Supreme Leader
Commands Middle Magdalena Bloc
Battles/wars Colombian conflict

Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri (born 22 January 1959), most known under the nom de guerre Timoleón Jiménez and the nickname Timochenko or Timochenco, is a Colombian politician, cardiologist and former narcoguerrilla. He is best known as the former commander-in-chief of the rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC), currently serving as the president of its political successor Commons (Spanish: Comunes) following the Colombian peace process.


Early life

Echeverri was born in 1959 shortly after the Cuban Revolution [1] to a poor peasant family in Calarcá, [2] near the birthplace of FARC-EP founder Manuel Marulanda. [3] His father, an illiterate peasant, is a communist sympathiser. [4]

After finishing high school, Echeverri joined the youth wing of the Colombian Communist Party. [5] Colombian intelligence services had long believed that he had studied medicine in Cuba, [5] and the Soviet Union, [1] and then undergone military training in Yugoslavia, [1] but this has since been proven false. [4]


Echeverri during his time in FARC-EP Rodrigo Londono Echeverri.jpg
Echeverri during his time in FARC-EP

Echeverri joined the FARC-EP in 1976, at the age of 17. [1] [2] He explains, on his entry into the guerrilla: "Before I left, they gave me a talk in which they tried to discourage me, but I was determined: I admired the armed struggle and believed that it would only take a short time, as in Cuba". [4]

He received medical training within the guerrillas. [4]


Echeverri took over the FARC-EP leadership in November 2011 [6] from Alfonso Cano after the leader was killed by the Colombian army. [7] According to the Colombian Air Force his alias is referring to Soviet Marshal Semyon Timoshenko. [8] Before assuming the leadership of the guerrilla group, Echeverri was one of the commanders of the Middle Magdalena Bloc of the FARC-EP and was thought to have some 800 men under his command.

Peace process

According to Foreign Policy , "[Echeverri] was instrumental in keeping the FARC from abandoning" the Colombian peace process, announcing in November 2012 the beginning of dialogue with the Colombian government. [2]

During this time, Echeverri experienced health issues. In 2015, Jiménez suffered a heart attack. [9] In November 2016, the Colombian government and FARC-EP reached a deal, with the FARC-EP transitioning from guerilla status to a political party. [2]

Political career

Party foundation

In the morning of 2 July 2017, he checked himself into a hospital in Villavicencio after feeling exhaustion and numbness in his arm. Doctors said that he was in intensive care and there was a temporary blockage of blood to his brain. [10]

Between 28 and 31 August 2017, a month after being hospitalized for a cerebral embolism, [10] Echeverri led the founding congress of the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) party at the Bogota Convention Centre with the participation of one thousand delegates. [11] In a speech on 1 September 2017, party leader Timochenko proposed a transitional government for the 2018–2022 term. [12] On 31 October 2017, FARC was named a legal political party in Colombia. [13]

2018 Colombian presidential election

On 1 November 2017, twenty-four hours after FARC was made a legal political party, Echeverri launched a presidential bid for the 2018 Colombian presidential election. [13] During this time, he had the lowest polling figures among the Colombian public. [14] In March 2018, he was hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome, underwent heart surgery [9] and subsequently ended his presidential campaign. [14]


According to the United States Department of State, Timoleon Jimenez set the FARC-EP’s cocaine policies directing and controlling the production, manufacture, and distribution of hundreds of tons of cocaine to the United States and the world, including the "taxation" of the illegal drug trade in Colombia to raise funds for the FARC-EP. [15] According to the U.S. Department of State, in 2000, along with Pastor Alape, he ordered the Magdalena Medio Bloc to retake coca territory, shoot down fumigation aircraft, increase coca production, kidnap United States citizens and kill any farmer who sold cocaine paste to non-FARC-EP approved buyers. When Echeverri took over as leader, the U.S. Department of State offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction. [15]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "¿Quién es 'Timochenko', el jefe máximo de las Farc?". EFE (in Spanish). 23 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "FP's 2017 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy . 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  3. "Designan al nuevo jefe de las FARC". El Informador (in European Spanish). 16 November 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Timochenko, el último comandante de las FARC". Gatopardo (in Spanish). 18 November 2020.
  5. 1 2 Alias Timochenko, lasillavacia.com (1 November 2016)
  6. "FARC appoints 'Timochenko' as new supreme leader". Colombia Reports. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  7. Colombia's FARC rebels choose hardliner 'Timochenko' to lead - CSMonitor.com
  8. Timochenko will be the new target for the Armed Forces, Colombian Air Force (9 November 2011)
  9. 1 2 "Ex-Colombia guerrilla leader hospitalized with chest pain". ABC News. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  10. 1 2 "FARC leader Timochenko hospitalised". News.com.au. 3 July 2017. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  11. "Así llegarán las Farc al Congreso". El Espectador (in Spanish). 28 August 2017. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  12. "El día en que las Farc se tomaron la plaza de Bolivar" (in Spanish). Las2orillas. 2 September 2017. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  13. 1 2 "Colombia: las FARC confirman que su ex máximo comandante, Rodrigo Londoño "Timochenko", será candidato a la presidencia". BBC Mundo . 1 November 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  14. 1 2 Miranda, Boris (9 March 2018). "Por qué algunos ven la renuncia de Rodrigo Londoño, alias Timochenko, a las elecciones presidenciales en Colombia como "una buena noticia" para la FARC". BBC Mundo . Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  15. 1 2 US Department of State: Rodrigo Londoño-Echeverry Accessed 15 November 2011
Military offices
Preceded by Commander-in-Chief of FARC-EP
Position abolished
Party political offices
New political party President of Commons