Santos visits Christmas demobilization program

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos visited Wednesday the location of a campaign to encourage members of the FARC and ELN rebel groups to demobilize before Christmas

At the Tres Esquinas base in the department of Caqueta, in southwest Colombia, the head of state took part in the “Rivers of Light” campaign which sends written messages along rivers frequented by guerrilla fighters, encouraging them to demobilize.

The messages sent along the Orteguaza river, next to the Tres Esquinas base, and the Amazon river were contained in blue-lit globes to grab the attention of the guerrilla fighters, and were written by government officials and Colombian citizens.

One such message from the commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, General Alejandro Navas reads, “In the same way that the sick are cured by doctors, guerrilla fighters will be saved and cared for by Colombian society.”

Santos said “I hope and pray that this Christmas, instead of having one demobilization every six hours, we have many more.” He added that the government is waiting for demobilized guerrilla fighters with open arms.

“The decision overcomes the fear,” said Pedro, a demobilized fighter present at the event.

According to figures from the Ministry of Defense, since the death of the supreme leader Alfonso Cano in November, 200 members of the FARC have demobilized.

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