In an interview with Russian news channel RT in Havana, Cuba, guerrilla Tanja Neijmeijer defended the guerrilla movement in several facets, including that “the Red Cross or human rights commissions can look at what we hold in our hands and you will see that there is no longer anyone retained.”
The confusion of whether FARC does or does not have hostages was exacerbated this week when a FARC leader told media that there were hostages and other FARC negotiators denied the claim shortly after.
Neijmeijer also stated that the FARC have always acted out of self-defense and never in aggression. When asked if the FARC should apologize for any of their violence over the last 48 years she responded, “one might say its absurd, to ask to be punished for a people who have always acted in self defense … we are not waging war because we want war. We want peace, but peace with social justice and that is what has never been in Colombia.”
Neijmeijer, who is part of the FARC negotiating team in Havana, Cuba also talked about the friendly atmosphere of the peace talks so far, “the atmosphere at the table is good, including space for jokes, there is space for laughter and there is good, fluid dialogue.”
Neijmeijer joined the FARC ten years ago and gained notoriety when her journal was found by Colombian authorities. Despite some of the negative comments made in the discovered journal, Neijmeijer maintains that she fully supports the left-wing guerrilla force and their armed struggle,”the fact that we have taken up arms, not by choice, not because we like guns or because we like war,” she told RT.