A Dutch member of the FARC has said the rebels have not been weakened by the Colombian government’s assassination of their leader, Alfonso Cano.
Tanja Nijmeijer, who gave an interview in the jungle to an unidentified Colombian journalist, said, “The FARC carries on without Cano. There have been many military actions since his death (…). The end of the FARC is far away.”
In the interview, broadcast on Dutch television, Nijmeijer defended the use of weapons. “When you are in the jungle and you continually hear bombs, continually hear guns, the only response is to shoot.”
Relaxed and smiling, speaking Dutch with a Colombian accent, the 33-year-old, recalled fearing for her life in November 2010, during the attack that killed the FARC’s military leader Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias “Mono Jojoy.”
Nijmeijer said, “I heard bombs falling very close by and I thought that I would not survive.” She said Rojas had a generous character and wanted to protect the FARC at all times. “When the first bombs fell, he ordered people to be evacuated, which was typical of his character,” said the rebel.