“Operation Bethlehem” will create beacons and paths of light to guide demobilizing FARC guerrillas out of the jungle, said the Colombian army’s ad agency Thursday.
The operation, a joint effort with the Colombia military, involves placing powerful beacons of light in town squares and scattering lights and glowing stickers along key paths out of the jungle. “Operation Bethlehem?s key objective is to give the FARC guerrillas a guiding light that leads their way to freedom and to their families at Christmas,” said the agency.
Lowe SSP3, who last year won an award for a similar operation named “Paths of Light”, said that “the guerrilla command posts [have]been repositioned throughout different areas of Colombia, in an attempt to prevent desertion.” The lights are intended to guide deserting fighters through unfamiliar terrain.
Radio broadcasts will also encourage family members of guerrilla fighters to persuade their loved ones to return home. “Demobilize: at Christmas everything is possible,” will be the message to the guerrillas.
The agency claim their operation last year, which involved floating lights and messages down rivers used for transport, encouraged 180 guerrillas to leave the jungle. This year they hope that the knowledge that FARC leaders are involved in peace talks in Cuba while fighters are under attack in the jungle will encourage even more to desert.