Colombian President Supports March against FARC

By Dialogo
December 05, 2011

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos joined civil-society organizations in calling for a march on December 6 against “kidnapping,” “violence,” and “terrorist methods,” following the murder on Saturday of four members of the uniformed services kidnapped by the FARC.

“The entire country rejects the FARC, rejects their terrorist methods and their persistence in violence, and for that reason, we’re all going to march on December 6, as one body, as one nation, in order to express that rejection,” Santos said at an event honoring police officers and military personnel in Bogotá.

The call for a protest against this communist guerrilla group was issued by civil-society organizations on Sunday, using social networks, following the shooting deaths of four police officers and one member of the military who had been kidnapped and held for more than 12 years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Rosa Parra, the director of ‘Colombia Soy Yo’ [I Am Colombia] – one of the organizations calling for the march – said on Sunday that the protest’s objective is to carry out a mass mobilization in rejection of the FARC, similar to one held in February 2008.

Administration representatives, members of Congress, political parties, and hundreds of citizens immediately added their backing to the initiative.

Other organizations, meanwhile, have proposed an alternative march “against war,” and not only against the guerrillas, for December 10, International Human Rights Day.

“We demand the release of all those who have been kidnapped. There is nothing that can justify this torture for those who are deprived of liberty,” Santos declared.

Santos insisted that this guerrilla group was the only party responsible for the deaths of the four uniformed personnel, after the FARC blamed the president and the military high command for having thwarted a plan for the unilateral release of the hostages, stating that it was a “tragic outcome of an insane rescue attempt,” according to a statement published on the group’s website.

The president affirmed that “the country is not stupid and does not let itself be deceived by despicable statements,” and he warned that if the guerrillas do not demobilize, “the only outcome left to them will be a cell or a tomb.”