Colombia’s intelligence service accused the FARC Tuesday of attempting to spread their political message and recruit in high schools in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Europe, a week after a pair of videos was revealed showing meetings led by the guerrilla group in two Bogota universities.
Director of the intelligence service, known as DAS, María del Pilar Hurtado, said investigations began when emails confirming recruiting efforts in secondary schools in northeast Colombia were uncovered in the computer of killed rebel leader José Juvenal Velandia, nicknamed ‘Iván Ríos’.
“Through the creation of two student federations, some academics and other secondary officials, and by the infiltration of already existing university movements” the FARC sought to penetrate centers of learning, Hurtado told Spanish news agency EFE.
One of the named groups, the Federation of University Students, after a four-hour meeting of its Executive Committee, denied the guerrilla group had infiltrated their ranks and accused the intelligence director of making “reckless” statements, reported El Tiempo.
The effort to enter foreign universities was headed by rebel chief Luciano Marín Arango, who goes by the nickname ‘Iván Márquez’, in 2000 and after his death shifted to a rebel called ‘Mauricio el médico’, said Hurtado.
“According to information from July 2005, the FARC had four groups at the National University and about 100 students at the University of Antioquia and wanted to penetrate all student organizations as soon as possible”, she told Caracol Radio.