The Dutchwoman in the ranks of Colombia’s Marxist FARC rebels is on their international committee, according to an email found in a computer of slain rebel leader “Mono Jojoy,” released Saturday by President Manuel Santos.
“Amid so many tragedies, Alexandra’s arrival (the alias of Tanja Nijmeijer) is good news. Putting her on the international board was great,” reads in part the message sent April 5 by rebel leader Carlos Lozada to Mono Jojoy, the alias of the rebel leader killed in the September 22 Colombian military raid.
“This Dutch national (…) today is with the FARC, and we have some photos of her which I want to share with you,” Santos said on releasing the email and photos of Nijmeijer in Medellin.
Colombian authorities first thought she might have been one of three women killed in the raid with Jojoy. But forensic and dental records later showed that was not the case, they said.
The military leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Victor Julio Suarez, known as Jorge Briceno or Mono Jojoy, was killed in an air and ground assault on September 22.
Media reports from May 2010 indicated that Nijmeijer, who joined the FARC several years ago after working as a teacher in Colombia, was believed to be working as Briceno’s personal assistant.
Born in 1978, she first drew international attention when parts of her diaries were discovered and published after a 2007 raid.
In the entries, she wondered how her life would be different if she had not joined the Marxist movement.
“Would I have been happy as a civilian in the Netherlands?” The New York Times quoted her as saying in the diaries. “Engaged, married with children?”
But later in the same entry, she seemed proud of her chosen path.
“I’ve seen it all. Here I move like a fish in water, the jungle is my home. The FARC is my life, my family,” she said.