HomeNewsBriefFARC Threaten More Kidnapping as Peace Talks Continue
BRIEF

FARC Threaten More Kidnapping as Peace Talks Continue

COLOMBIA / 30 JAN 2013 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The FARC rebel group has declared that it will continue to kidnap members of the Colombian security forces, and announced that it would enforce a strike in west Colombia in a show of strength as peace talks take place in Cuba.

In a public statement signed by the peace negotiators currently in Havana, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) declared:

We reserve the right to take prisoner members of the security forces who surrender in combat. They are called prisoners of war, and this happens in every conflict around the world.

The group said that it had repeatedly tried to organize prisoner swaps, but the government had rejected their approaches, as El Espectador reported.

The statement follows the kidnapping of two police officers in the western Valle del Cauca province on January 25, allegedly carried out by the FARC.

In another move calculated to show their strength, the rebels have warned that they will enforce an “armed strike” on the border between the departments of Choco and Risaralda in the northwest of the country, for 20 days starting February 1. Men on motorbikes have reportedly been distributing leaflets in the area, warning of the action. These “strikes” normally involve shutting down transport and often businesses in a section of the country by threatening to attack anyone who uses the roads or waterways. El Diario del Otun published an image of one of the flyers — see above.

InSight Crime Analysis

These actions by the FARC, coming days after the end of a two-month unilateral ceasefire, appear to be designed to remind the Colombian government of the threat that the group can pose to the country.

The main aim of an armed strike is to demonstrate the group’s power over the civilian population. The FARC last employed this tactic in November, with a ban on movement in Choco. Other armed groups have also used this tool, with the Urabeños gang declaring a strike on the Caribbean coast in January 2012 after their leader was killed by the security forces.

The declaration that the FARC will continue kidnapping members of the armed forces comes as a disappointment after the rebel group released all of the soldiers and police known to be in their power last year, before peace talks officially began. Some of the men had been held for 14 years. However, it does not contradict the group’s statement that it would cease kidnapping of civilians for ransom.

The FARC’s argument that their hostages are legitimate prisoners of war is undermined by the fact that the rebels do not meet their obligations to hold these individuals in decent conditions.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 4 MAR 2014

Prosecutors in Colombia have issued a warrant for a high-ranking army official who stands accused of leading a ring that…

COLOMBIA / 29 FEB 2012

Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon has retracted his announcement of the release of nine oil workers, who were kidnapped…

COLOMBIA / 9 APR 2013

The FARC guerrillas are no longer a national threat, according to Colombia’s government. However, if the authorities are right that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…