The mother of Tanja Nijmeijer, a Dutch woman who joined Colombian guerrilla group the FARC, told Semana magazine on Tuesday that she expects that her daughter will remain with the rebels.
Hannie Nijmeijer’s 32-year-old daughter left the Netherlands in 2000 to move to Colombia and teach English. Tanja soon became involved with the FARC, and ran off to join them and live in the jungle in 2003.
Speaking to a Colombian publication for the first time, Hannie said that her daughter’s decision to become a guerrilla was due to her “deep social conscience,” which was amplified after visiting Colombia for the first time.
Hannie described a 2005 meeting with her daughter, when she traveled to Meta to meet Tanja in a camp of the FARC’s Eastern Bloc. She described the meeting as “intense and intimate” and said that when she asked her daughter about her involvement with the FARC, she became “unattainable.”
When asked whether she expects to be reunited with her daughter, Nijmeijer said “Since 2005 I have supposed that Tanja would stay with the guerrillas, that it was impossible for her to return.”
Finally, Hannie pleaded for her daughter to let her family know that she is alive.
“The army says they are convinced that Tanja is alive, but they cannot prove it. For three years I have not heard from Tanja, sometimes it makes me think the worst. It is a burden to live like this.”
To read the full interview with Hannie Nijmeijer, click here.