Skip to comments.FARC declares candidates military targets in Oct. 26 elections
Posted on 07/20/2003 1:30:04 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia's largest guerrilla army, the Marxist-inspired FARC, has threatened to kill all candidates for October municipal elections, saying they and their families will be declared military targets.
In a letter sent to the nation's mayors, obtained by Reuters on Saturday, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said the threat extended to candidates for mayor, governor, city council members and provincial lawmakers.
The nationwide vote, the first election under the government of President Alvaro Uribe, will take place Oct. 26. The president took power last year promising to make Latin America's most violent nation safe again.
"Those who register as a candidate for the election will be declared military targets. You and your families in any place where the FARC are found will subjugated to country's armed conflict," the letter read.
Commanders of Colombia's armed forces said they were aware of the letter and would guarantee security for all of the candidates, who must register within the coming weeks to be eligible.
In mid-2002, the FARC threatened to kill or kidnap all mayors and municipal government officials in a move it said was aimed at destroying the state from the bottom up. The threat forced many politicians to take refuge in distant military bases, governing remotely.
Twelve Colombian mayors were killed in 2002, and police blamed most of the killings on Marxist rebels. The FARC also kidnapped 12 provincial lawmakers last year.
The paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, promised Tuesday to start demobilizing its 10,000 troops by the end of the year. The official peace negotiations come after a December cease-fire and six months of exploratory talks.
The AUC is an umbrella paramilitary group that is accused of some of the worst human rights abuses in Colombia's 39-year civil war. It arose in the 1980s to counter extortion and kidnappings by leftist rebels in rural areas where government troops had little or no control.
"I believe that this can contribute to the country laying down the foundation for peace," President Alvaro Uribe said from the city of Arauca, where he moved the capital for three days.
There was no immediate comment from the leftist rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The FARC has said it would join peace talks, but has demanded a safe haven and other preconditions the government refuses to accept.
Officials said peace with the paramilitaries would take one important player out of the violence that have tormented Colombia's people since the civil war began. The United States has labeled both the UAC and the FARC terrorist organizations.
Luis Carlos Restrepo, the nation's peace commissioner, said he hoped peace talks with the AUC would prompt the leftist rebels - avowed enemies of the militia - to put down their arms as well. ***
"Taking away armed actors like the paramilitary fighters opens the way to an effective peace process" with the rebels, Restrepo told the CMI television program.
Leaders of the AUC said they wanted to help build the "authentic peace that the Colombian nation waits for and deserves."***
Colombia - FARC guerrillas say they hold three American hostages with "prisoners of war"*** The three Americans removed by the FARC on February 13 in the south of Colombia were gathered "with the prisoners of war" of this guerrilla, according to a text diffused Thursday on Internet by Red Resistencia, near to the revolutionary Forces armed with Colombia (FARC).
Employed by the American Defence Department, the three men had been sequestered after their Cessna-208 single-engined aircraft had been cut down in full flight by the FARC close to Florencia, to 600 km in the south of Bogota, at the time of an anti-drug operation. ***
The government should put guerrilla's on the ballat as mayor candidates, kill their families, and then blame it on other factions of FARC.
just trying to help a brother . . .
Egad! No more "right-wing death squads"!? What excuse will the illiberal left find now for supporting murderous marxist insurgenents and narco-terrorists, and undermining democratic and civil societies?
Not that it really matters, so long as they are safe and secure in New York City and San Franciso, and it's only the little brown people that have to suffer the mayhem.
Or publish a book "Shooting FARC Members for Fun and Profit."