The FARC plans to step up its attacks, including kidnappings, bombings and roadblocks, as the congressional and presidential elections approach, according to Colombian military intelligence.
In a campaign called “Raul Reyes,” the FARC will attempt to kidnap congressional candidates, retired generals, soldiers, or businessmen, intelligence sources claim. One candidate for the House of Representatives, Orlando Beltran Cuellar, who was previously kidnapped by the FARC and held for seven years in captivity, says he has again been the target of threats.
According to the military, the FARC intends to discredit President Alvaro Uribe’s democratic security policy with a series of escalating actions. As part of the the strategy, five previously inactive mobile columns of the FARC may resume or increase operations. These may include the “Marcos Sanchez” column of the Caribbean Bloc, the “Oliverio Rincon” and “Juan Jose Rondon” columns for the Eastern Bloc, the “Daniel Aldana” column for the Western Bloc, the “Alvear Restrepo” column for the Jose Maria Cordova Bloc in Antioquia.
Other actions may include road blockades on major highways where the FARC was previously active, such as the route from Cali to Buenaventura, or from Medellin to Bogota.
Nearly 5,000 guards will be present during the March 14 congressional elections to guarantee voter safety, the defense ministry has said.