Article published on the 2008-05-25 Latest update 2008-07-10 13:18 TU
The rebel leader founded the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) over four decades ago. He organised the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in the 1960's to bridge the gap between rich and poor.
Marulanda was last seen in public in 1982 and has been rumored to be dead at least 17 times.
"The great leader is gone," the Farc's statement said. The military also said that Marulanda, known as "Sharpshooter", had been replaced by Alfonso Cano.
Marulanda's demise could mark the end of FARC after senior female commander Karina recently surrendered and the group's second in command Raul Reyes, was killed by the Colombian army in March.
Among the many captives held is the French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt who was captured during the 2002 presidential election campaign.