The army general in charge of operations against the FARC‘s Teofilo Foreo Mobile column on Thursday claimed the alleged confiscation of a list of prominent Colombians the guerrillas plan to either kidnap or kill is a hoax.
General Amiro Barrios, commander of the Jupiter Task Force and responsible for all military activity against the elite FARC unit, told Caracol Radio that his unit has not carried out any ground operations against the FARC in recent weeks. Consequently, the army unit did not raid any camps or find any computers.
“It isn’t true. This is speculation. For some time we haven’t had direct combat with this [rebel military] structure and we don’t know from where the information came that there would be a computer and a list of Congressmen. We haven’t found anything,” Barrios told Caracol.
Barrios’ claim was corroborated by a second army commander, General Javier Alberto Florez of the 3rd Southeastern Joint Command who told the radio station that there had not been any bombings over the past few days and that no computer had been found.
The existence of the list was affirmed to several media by undisclosed army officials on Wednesday, one day after Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon claimed the guerrillas planned to assassinate former President Alvaro Uribe.
The alleged kidnapping and assassination plans of the guerrillas immediately put pressure on ongoing peace talks; The government’s chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle said that if the accusations proved true it would threaten the continuity of peace negotiations.
FARC peace negotiators in Cuba have refused to respond to the allegations.
The guerrilla group and the government are currently trying to negotiate a political solution to Colombia’s almost 50-year-old armed conflict.