A video showing ski-mask wearing, presumed FARC members conducting a
recruiting meeting at a public Bogotá University was revealed to the
Colombian Congress Tuesday.
In the five minute video, shot at stage-level in a sunken, open-air
auditorium, roughly 15 black- and blue-clad FARC members urge the large
audience of students to join their struggle, shout revolutionary
slogans, then jog up the stairs and out of the auditorium.
“Nothing interests this government, it responded to president Hugo
Chávez with a slap in the face, assassinating Raúl Reyes. It slaps you
for wanting to make peace in this country. But this government doesn’t
want it,” says one of the speakers, according to Spanish news agency EFE.
“We’re not terrorists like the state makes us look. Here only mafias
are created. Mafia, like the one in the Palacio de Nariño (presidential
palace), that is a mafia,” the speaker continues.
While some students who spoke with Caracol Radio
could not recall seeing any FARC presence inside the university walls
and expressed concern that the news would stigmatize the institution,
and others said they had seen graffiti supporting the guerrilla group,
none said they had known of any recruiting efforts.
Bogotá mayor Samuel Moreno condemned the events in the video and
pledged to investigate guerrilla activities in the city’s universities,
but cautioned observers not to generalize against students or public
universities, according to a separate Caracol Radio report.
Rodolfo Palomino, commander of the Bogotá metropolitan police, said
officers will enter the university if necessary to prevent activities
by any illegal groups, but mayor Moreno rejected the suggestion, saying
the school should remain a sanctuary of learning, reported another Caracol Radio report.