are the new target of the Colombian government in its war against the
leftist guerrilla movement FARC. “Those terrorists, those
bandits”, as president Uribe likes to call them.
the laptop of commander Iván Ríos, who was killed half
a year ago by one of his own bodyguards, Colombian intelligence found
proofs of contacts between the guerrilla and students. Moreover the
rector of the Universidad Distrital appeared in video images with
hooded students, who yelled in favor of the Bolivarian Movement,
which is associated with the guerrilla.
course students defended themselves. They walked out on the streets
to tell the world that being against the government doesn’t
mean automatically that you are a terrorist. And they are right (at
least partly because other students complain that hooded persons
intimidate those students who don’t want to support the
the meantime in Denmark the organization Fighters and Lovers was
condemned because it tried to support the FARC by selling T-shirts.
are other examples: Mexican students who were in the camp of the
slain FARC-commander Raúl Reyes and the Dutch guerrilla girl
Tanja Nijmeijer who joined the FARC in order to fight for a better
many people the thing is very clear: the FARC are terrorists and have
to be destroyed. People who support them therefore are terrorists as
well. As soon as the terrorists are defeated, violence in Colombia
will be solved and everybody can go to sleep quietly. Unfortunately
it is not like that.
cause of the FARC, fighting for a juster world, is still being felt
as a good one. But the guerrilla has moved to all the more violent
and cruel methods to reach its goal. It recruits child soldiers. And
it traffics cocaine in order to buy arms and ammunition. It is very
right that the world condemns this.
But the world should
also ask itself why young people feel that the FARC’s struggle
is right. It is foolish to just put it aside as terrorism, as the
Colombian government does. Maybe the day will come that the FARC are
defeated until their last fighter, but even then Colombia needs more
to reach peace. It needs to create a socially juster, opener and more
democratic society. Otherwise the violence will never end.
Author Wies Ubags is a
Dutch freelance journalist in Bogotá and works for media in