The FARC are entirely to blame for the deaths of four hostages executed during a military offensive, and claims they were to be released are preposterous, Colombia’s police and army chiefs said Wednesday.
Police chief Oscar Navanja said the guerrillas held sole responsibility for the deaths, saying to finally kill the men after 12 years in captivity was “a defenceless coup de grace killing that will never be accepted.”
His army counterpart, General Alejandro Nevas, added that claims the guerrillas were about to release their prisoners were a “mockery to society”.
The police chief and armed forces commander’s comments come in the wake of various criticisms from the FARC, Colombian politicians, and religious authorities all blaming President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian government for the “botched rescue attempt.“
Both the FARC and ex-Senator Piedad Cordoba claimed that negotiations were underway to unilaterally release the hostages prior to the military offensive. Commenting on the FARC’s statements, Naranjo said, “I don’t wish to respond to what has been a string of lies, a chain of barbarous events, [nor] criminals who have disregarded the value of life.”
Navas said that the FARC have been traditionally cynical and misleading in their dealings. He claimed that the guerrilla group issued statements that “do not conform to reality,” and now they had come forward “to say they were going to deliver the hostages, but only after they were murdered.”
In face of the accusations, Santos has reiterated advice given to him by a man he considered his “second father,” that one should not seek “unnecessary fights”, nor respond to “attacks that aren’t worth it.” The head of state said, “The virtue of prudence is to remain silent when one has nothing to say.”