HomeNewsBriefSantos is 1st Colombian President to Visit Birthplace of FARC Rebels
BRIEF

Santos is 1st Colombian President to Visit Birthplace of FARC Rebels

COLOMBIA / 19 SEP 2011 BY HANNAH STONE EN

Juan Manuel Santos became the first Colombian president to visit the site where the FARC rebel group was created in the 1960s, and issued a call for peace in the country.

In a move which displayed the government's increased hold on former rebel territory, Santos visited Marquetalia, an area in the central Tolima department where the rebel group was formed in 1964.

The president declared that no zone in Colombia was off limits to the security forces, a significant claim given that during the 1990s the FARC controlled at least 40 percent of the country's area, much of this in the southern and central regions.

Deceased founder of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Pedro Antonio Marin Marin, alias "Manuel Marulanda," occupied the zone together with a small group of peasant fighters until government troops forced them out in 1964. This event is considered to mark the founding of the rebel army, which has now been active in Colombia for 47 years.

Santos repeated his call for the guerrillas to surrender, saying that their only other options were "death or prison."

He said that the FARC had lost more than 4,500 members in 2011, with 2,200 demobilized, almost 2,000 captured and 500 killed. Guillermo Leon Saenz, alias "Alfonso Cano," is thought to be hiding out in the Tolima department, harried by government forces. Santos has promised that Saenz will be taken down, saying that the government knows where the guerrilla chief is.

The president's landmark visit followed a weekend in which at least four people died and 21 were injured in attacks attributed to the FARC.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCA / 3 AUG 2017

Colombia's government is intent on passing a law that will grant a one-year judicial immunity for small-scale coca farmers who…

BRAZIL / 19 JAN 2018

Record highs, all-time lows, and a few surprises -- 2017 proved a remarkable year in terms of homicide levels for…

COLOMBIA / 10 AUG 2015

A United States court convicted Colombian organized crime leader Fredy Alonzo Mira Perez, alias "Fredy Colas," to seven years…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…