It is “important” that people from other countries also hear the FARC’s side of the story regarding Colombia’s ongoing armed conflict, according to the rebels who have launched a website in English.
In an interview with Colombia Reports, the FARC’s “foreign minister,” “Rodrigo Granda,” and Dutch rebel Tanja Nijmeijer, whose nom de guerre is ‘Alexandra,” explained that it was with this in mind that prompted the guerrillas to launch the website.
“We consider that the internet is a great opportunity for people to get to know the other side of the story, as governments and their mass media usually manipulate information, trying to sell the same old terrorist and drug-trafficking stories.”
“So it is important that people from other countries can find our point of view on the internet, to be able to form a well-founded judgment about the FARC-EP and our struggle,” said Nijmeijer.
The Dutch guerrilla, who assists the rebels’ peace negotiation team in Cuba, explained that the website is also a means for people who know nothing of Colombia to learn about the rebels struggle.
“A lot of people in the world don´t even know there exists a country called Colombia, where the largest guerrilla force of the world has survived numerous huge military operations from the Colombian government and the US,” said Nijmeijer.
“Not to speak about the enormous psychological war they have been carrying out against us,” added the rebel.
Nijmeijer suggested that in the “highly transnationalized” world that we live in, people should be more concerned with the happenings outside of their country.
“In general, people should care a little bit more about what is happening outside the borders of their countries. Today we live in a totally globalized world, countries depend economically on each other.”
“But, for example, there exists little awareness of the behavior of these companies in a country like Colombia. Big multinational companies, like Gold Ashanti, Dyncorp, Coca-Cola, Drummond or Oxy are wreaking havoc in Colombia: socially, economically and environmentally speaking,” argued the rebel.
The FARC and the government have been involved in peace talks since November in order to seek a negotiated end to the internal conflict.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.
- Interview with Ricardo Tellez and Tanja Nijmeijer
- FARC delegation’s English website