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  • The Cuban claims he was hired by a right-wing Colombian group to assassinate progressive presidential candidate Gustavo Petro (pictured).

    The Cuban claims he was hired by a right-wing Colombian group to assassinate progressive presidential candidate Gustavo Petro (pictured). | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 May 2018

"I came to carry out attacks in Colombia against the Embassy of Cuba in Bogota, the (FARC) leader Timochenko and Gusavo Petro," Gutierrez said.

A Cuban named Raul Gutierrez claims he was hired by a right-wing Colombian group to assassinate progressive presidential candidate Gustavo Petro and the leader of the Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons (FARC), Rodrigo 'Timochenko' Londoño.

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Gutierrez, who had been based in the United States, had planned to carry out an attack on the Cuban Embassy in Colombia.

Gutierrez was arrested in March in Bogota, where he is still being held, for alleged connections with the Islamic State group, but in an interview with local radio he says those accusations are false and that he was really hired to kill Petro and Londoño.

"I came to carry out attacks in Colombia against the Embassy of Cuba in Bogota, the leader Timochenko and Gusavo Petro," Gutierrez said.

Beyond saying that it was a "far-right group," Gutierrez did not specify exactly who hired him, although he did say he had belonged to a group known as the Movimiento Justiciero 51, a criminal collective of Cubans operating out of Florida in the United States.

Gustavo Petro is a former Bogota mayor and the progressive candidate vying for the Colombian presidency with the Humanist party, against Ivan Duque of the right-wing party founded by former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño was forced to withdraw from the presidential race due to a combination of ongoing health problems and security threats against him and his fellow party members.

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