Twelve people were injured – ten of them civilians – in three separate attacks by the Colombian guerrilla group in the Caucan municipalities of Cajibio, Jambalo and Caldono.
The FARC unit involved has been identified as the mobile Jacobo Arenas column, which on Saturday terrorized indigenous communities in the area to force the evacuation of their settlements and on Sunday opened fire on a helicopter belonging to the national army, which was carrying armed forces commander Freddy Padilla in the mountains surrounding the municipality of Caldono.
President Uribe responded to the attacks saying that the FARC were motivated by “electoral opportunism” and condemned them, stating that “the electoral process cannot be done with blood and kidnapping. The electoral processes are processes of patriotic discussion.”
Uribe called the international community’s attention to what he has previously called the FARC’s attempt to discredit his government by posponing the release of hostages in the lead-up to national elections, following a security council meeting in Cauca on Sunday.
“We call the world’s attention to this trick of the FARC. All the necessary guarantees requested to liberate the hostages have been given and they haven’t been liberated. Why is that?” Uribe said.
The FARC’s actions come three weeks before Colombia’s legislative elections, which precede the country’s presidential elections on May 30.