Representatives of the FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group, on Thursday claimed to be “surprised” over an attack on a town in the southwest of the country that killed one police officer and injured dozens of civilians.
“I am surprised … that situations like this occur. As a norm, the FARC does not attack the civilian population without punishment,” “Rodrigo Granda,” one of the members of the rebel peace negotiation team in Cuba, told television network Caracol.
Granda, whose real name is Ricardo Gonzalez, responded to an attack on the town of Pradera, Cauca, where a 100-pound bomb reportedly attached to a motorcycle wreaked havoc.
The FARC representative claimed he could not be certain whether the attack was the responsibility of the local FARC unit, but said that if his rebel group did carry out the attack it would have been aimed at “a police unit or some military patrol.”
Additionally, the rebel leader said that “in many cases we use non-conventional weapons, self-made arms that do not have the technical possibilities to precisely aim at one target. Because of this sometimes they are diverted and cause involuntary damage.”
The attack — the most destructive in months — forced fierce responses from national authorities that condemned the alleged guerrilla offensive.
President Juan Manuel Santos called the attack a “vile act of terrorism” while Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the attack showed the FARC has “an absolutely demented attitude.”
The leftist guerrillas have been fighting the Colombian state since 1964. The group has been involved in peace talks with the Santos administration since November 2012.
- Farc dicen que les sorprende ataque en Pradera (El Espectador)
- Rodrigo Granda se mostró sorprendido por atentado en Pradera (Radio Santa Fe)