viernes, 5 de abril de 2013

FARC to shuffle negotiators in Cuba, move closer to ELN rebels

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), engaged in talks with representatives of the Colombian state to end decades of civil conflict, were reportedly to envisage changing some of their negotiators in Cuba, in part to show that all factions of the FARC supported the peace process, El Colombiano reported on 5 April.  Details of changes were not given but they may include a member of their Secretariat and head of the FARC's Western Block joining the negotiating team. Rotations were envisaged from the start of talks, the daily cited the Senator Roy Barreras Montealegre as saying, but the move was said also to be in response to a letter to negotiators by President Juan Manuel Santos who asked the FARC to clarify whether or not their Southern and Western Blocks were backing talks. The possible new participant, the guerrilla dubbed Pablo Catatumbo is commander of such units as the Sixth Front and the Jacobo Arenas Mobile Column, particularly active in fighting the army the southern departments of Cauca and Valle de Cauca; he joined the FARC in the late 1980s and its Secretariat in 2008, El Colombiano reported. The daily separately reported on 4 April that the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) - the other, smaller communist guerrilla force - declared in a joint communiqué dated 30 March their intention to join forces to "fortify the Revolutionary Popular Block" and "confront with decision the great oligopolies, transnational capital and imperialism." They did not specify if this meant collaborating to bomb energy-sector installations or kidnap contract workers, a practice of both armies, although mining and related activities in eastern Colombia and specifically the department of Arauca were apparently cited as as a "threat against the people." The communiqué stated that the rebels had also "evaluated the post-conflict" situation when some at least in Colombia, hope the guerrillas will enter public life as politicians.

FARC guerrillas launch deadly attacks in Colombia

Two attacks attributed to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 4 and 5 April killed three soldiers and three civilians and injured 11, while Caracol radio reported continued fighting on 5 April between soldiers and the FARC's Sixth Front around the Corinto district, media reported. Early that day the suspected FARC guerrillas launched a bomb attack on telecommunication installations outside the town of Corinto early on 5 April, killing three soldiers and injuring seven, El Espectador reported, citing comments by the head of army's Task Apollo Force active in the zone, General Jorge Jerez. The day before the FARC fired explosives onto the locality of Guatemala in the district of Miranda, in northern Cauca, killing three including "two children" and injuring four, Caracol radio reported on 4 April. In that attack the FARC began "indiscriminately launching improvised explosive artefacts against houses," El Espectador reported locals as saying. Also on 4 April, a policeman was injured when suspected guerrillas fired on a police station in the district of San Calixto, in the Norte de Santander department, northern Colombia. The attack was attributed to Front 33 of the FARC, the broadcaster Caracol reported.