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

COLOMBIA / 3 OCT 2022

While now comfortably established in two countries, the ELN have a chance to return to the negotiating table, according to…

EX-FARC MAFIA / 13 OCT 2021

The fighting that erupted in the Venezuelan state of Apure in early 2021 was on the surface a classic guerrilla…

COCAINE / 26 MAY 2021

A Turkish mafia boss has claimed cocaine is being trafficked directly from Venezuela to Turkey in a viral video, pointing…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…