Colombian Defense Minister Reaffirms Fight Against FARC

By Dialogo
January 19, 2012

Speaking in Brasilia, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón reaffirmed the military fight against the FARC, in response to the truce proposed by a Colombian civilian group on January 17, and dismissed the possibility of international help in a potential release of hostages held by that guerrilla group.

Pinzón said that he was not familiar with the proposal for a three-month ceasefire formulated by the Colombians for Peace (CCP) movement, but he indicated that the administration will continue to combat the rebels as long as they persist in their armed activity.

“So long as there are armed groups that engage in attacks against the Colombian people (…), the only thing that they’re going to find is absolute firmness and determination on the part of the administration and government forces to contain them and act with determination against them,” Pinzón stated at a press conference.

Pinzón met with his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, to discuss cooperation agreements in the area of border security and the purchase of military planes and boats.

The Colombian official also alluded to the FARC’s announcement that it will release six uniformed personnel in its power, and he dismissed the possibility of international participation in an operation to turn over the hostages.

Minister Pinzón added that the Colombian government has all the necessary logistical support available to “bring the hostages safely and soundly to their families,” while expressing his gratitude for “Brazil’s readiness” in the past to cooperate in hostage releases.

On January 17, Colombians for Peace sent open letters to the government and to the FARC and the ELN, both leftist guerrilla groups, with their proposal for a truce to facilitate peace talks between the parties.