“Terrorism itself is a sign of weakness,” said Santos, adding “we condemn (the attack) in every possible way. Such an act of terrorism shows the weakness and despair of the FARC because terrorism attacks from the rear without regard for the civilian population and innocent people.”
Santos further claimed that the FARC used such tactics Wednesday because they were feeling pressure from the government and were without alternative options: “This shows that they are increasingly growing desperate and increasingly going to be dominated.”
Santos lamented the loss of Major Felix Antonio Jaime, the commander of Antioquia‘s highway police who FARC may have wished to assassinate. Jaime responded to FARC’s initial attack after FARC forces burned several cars and tractors. Jaime was then killed when a hidden roadside bomb was detonated which sprayed the area with shrapnel. Santos commented that Jaime had “fought the Colombian terrorist threat and showed the most exemplary degree of honesty. Here died another hero of the fatherland.”
The Antioquia police official was killed by a roadside bomb after he was called to the scene where FARC guerrillas had stopped and burned vehicles. The incident took place near the town of Yarumal, located in a region where the guerrillas’ 36th front is highly active and has recently carried out several attacks against infrastructure and local politicians.
The double attack on the highway connecting Colombia’s second largest city Medellin with the country’s Caribbean coast is a blow to the country’s authorities that were able to push guerrillas away from economically important highways for years.
While Colombia’s security forces have had successes this year in their war with FARC, the guerrillas’ top leadership remains at large and FARC has hit the government back for its successes with a number of attacks. Wednesday’s ambush was the ninth FARC attack in Antioquia, Colombia’s second most populous district, and more than 40 vehicles have been burned or destroyed nation-wide by the FARC this year.