The Dutch FARC guerrilla, Tanja Nijmeijer, who joined Colombia’s largest left-wing insurgency more than twelve years ago, claimed she was proud of her work with the rebels.
Nijmeijer is currently taking part in the peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government in Cuba. She took some time away from the negotiating table to talk with the BBC about choices she and the FARC have made over the years.
“I don’t have any regrets about joining. I didn’t choose to use violence. I chose to do politics in a country where doing politics implies violence.”
Teaching English in central Colombia at the end of the 1990s, Nijmeijer was deeply affected by the poverty and violence she witnessed. “I wasn’t able to keep on living in Holland and have a good life and have my job, thinking about other people in other places in the world, living a miserable life.”
PROFILE: Tanja Nijmeijer
The fact that she could face up to 60 years in prison as she is wanted by both the United States government and Colombia did not phase her.
“I don’t think about that,” she smiled. “I thought I came to an interview, not a trial.”