Farc rebels have been urged by one of their top commander in Colombia to follow her example and surrender.
Known as Karina, Nelly Avila Moreno (photo) handed hersel in to soldiers over the weekend, in the latest blow to Farc.
She said the organisation was falling apart, under growing desertions and pressure from the military. Also several key leaders have been killed in recent months.
Karina has been blamed for a string of murders and abductions in the north-western Antioquia region.
She was made a priority for the security forces in 2002 by president Alvaro Uribe (photo, from M6info.fr), to who her surrender is a coup.
For more than 40 years, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, has been fighting to overthrow the government.
“To my comrades: Change this life that your are leading in the guerrilla group and re-enter society with the government’s reinsertion plan” she said in Medellin, at a news conference called by the army.
‘Pressure by the army’
When Karina surrendered, her unit had been whittled down from several hundred to fewer than 50 fighters.
She said she had been out of contact with Farc’s seven-member ruling secretariat for two years.
She said that“The decision [to surrender] was made because of the pressure by the army in the area”.
She added that she was shaken by the killling of secretariat member Ivan Rios, in March, by one of his bodyguards. Rios’s hand had been cut off by the bodyguard, and turned in with his laptop computer, in return for a reward.
Bounties have been offered by the government for top rebels commanders. Karina was $1m, and president Uribe appealed to her to surrender two weeks ago.
Karina contacted the army, who sent a helicopter to pick her up and another guerrilla, known as Michin.
She said she was not the “bloodthirsty” woman the authorities described, and denied involvement in the 1983 murder of president Uribe’s father.