Sunday, November 27, 2011

The FARCs' Apologists Emerge Again

Barbarity! headlines El Espectador.
Yesterday's cold-blooded murders of three policemen and a soldier whom the FARC guerrillas had held prisoner in the jungle for more than a decade provided yet more proof of the guerrillas' moral bankruptcy.

(The guerrillas had, apparently, met a military force in the jungle, and, fearing that the kidnappees could be rescued, they murdered them.)

However, some of the responses to the tragedy revealed the distorted and duplitious attitudes this long and futile conflict has produced.

Luis Alberto Erazo, the sole survivor. 
Take the relatives of the four men whom the FARC had kidnapped, held in chains in the jungle for as long as 14 years, subjecting them to hunger, forced marches and jungle diseases, until the day they ordered them to lie down and shot them point-blank in the head or the back. (One man managed to escape.) The relatives' response: To blame the government, for 'not being capable of making peace with the guerrillas'.

The response is not rational, but is at least understandable coming from people shaken by tragedy and grief. Less concienciable are groups like Colombianos y Colombianas por la Paz, who - probably sincerely and with good intentions - have already used this tragedy to call on the government to give up its military activities and negotiate with the guerrillas. That would amount to a unilateral retreat before a group which has, once again, demonstrated its barbarity.

In its statement about the murders, Colombianos y Colombianas refrained from blaming the guerrillas and called for the creation of a "new ethical force to end this bleeding."

FARC hostages in a jungle cage. 
Any such 'ethical force' needs to begin with the guerrillas, who have committed countless human rights violations including kidnapping, murder, forced abortions, planting landmines, recruiting child soldiers...and on and on. This isn't the FARC's first mass murder of kidnappees, either. In 2007, the guerrillas shot point-blank 11 city councilmen from the city of Cali whom they'd held prisoner in the jungle for five years. The guerrillas blamed the deaths on cross-fire, but evidence soon proved they'd been murdered.

The burden is now, more than ever, on the FARC to cease their murderous, fratricidal and totally futile drug-financed war, stop their violence against the military and civilians and immediately release all their hostages. 

These killings also show the level of either terror or brainwashing of the FARC guerrilla fighters. After all, these guerrillas had lived together in the jungle for months or years with these kidnappees, sharing with them bad food, wet marches, boredom and, probably even conversations and chess games. And yet, when ordered to, they didn't hesitate to cold bloodedly murder these men who had become their companions.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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