Military commander Admiral Edgar Cely asked private industry not to abandon Colombia after the kidnappings of four Chinese oil workers and assures that increasing terrorist acts by the FARC are signs of desperation.
“What we ask of the businesses of exploitation [oil and mining] is to follow safety guidelines in these areas. With much pleasure we will mount schemes to protect them,” said Cely in an interview with Caracol Radio, who also indicated that the army is pressuring the guerrillas who kidnapped the Chinese contractors.
On Tuesday the military issued a warning to foreigners living in rural areas of Colombia to consult the military authorities before traveling to ensure that certain zones are free of guerrilla presence.
In regards to the fight against the guerrilla, the military commander said Colombia is in “the most important final 20 meters” of the conflict.
The admiral explained that the FARC “have changed their strategy and are generating a situation that we understand perfectly, but we are also changing our strategy. We are not feeling any kind of defeat, ever.”
According to the commander, the FARC are committing more terrorist acts against civilian populations like the dynamite explosion Tuesday that killed two taxi passengers in the southern Caqueta department.
These acts reportedly “permit them to present themselves in front of the community as if they had more strength,” said the admiral who added, “we understand this perfectly.”
“The acts of terrorism make them take pressure off of the military forces. This is what is occurring, when we tighten in on them they want to overturn the cities, and they set off a car bomb like the one last year in Cahpinero, which had a dramatic effect,” the military official explained.
Cely believes that these terrorist acts are a sign of the near-end for the FARC. The admiral made similar statements in April when he claimed that the FARC and the ELN are “dying” but they will not accept it and are increasing terrorist attacks in an attempt to stay visible.