Colombia's FARC insurgents have vowed to fight on even after army forces killed leader Alfonso Cano Friday, dampening hopes that his death might bring the nation closer to peace.

A policy has been laid out and it will continue, the ruling secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said in a statement posted on the Internet.

Under Cano, the FARC reorganized after severe setbacks and returned to the offensive. President Juan Manuel Santos said  whoever replaces Cano will not have the same command and control over the troops. The scion of a wealthy Bogota family, Santos has been at the helm of dealing some of the biggest blows to FARC rebels in their history, first as defense minister and then as president.

The Cano killing came days after Santos allies did well in nationwide regional elections, underlining his broad support.

Cano was shot three times while trying to escape during a military operation in the southwest of the country. Troops found evidence he was near, according to accounts by soldiers who participated in Operation Odyssey. At dusk, Cano emerged from his hideout to try to escape. He was seen by a soldier and shot three times.