miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

Colombians denounce troops' killing, government's "tepid" response

The conservative Colombian Senator and former president, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, firmly condemned on 15 April the earlier killing of 10 soldiers by guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and qualified peace talks with the FARC as the "extermination" of the armed forces. Writing on Twitter, he told President Juan Manuel Santos, "do not deceive us any more nor justify the murder of our soldiers with the story of the war you want to end," Bogota's Radio Santa Fe reported. Mr Uribe vigorously fought the FARC when president between 2002 and 2010, and has criticized the talks his successor has begun with them. He was voted in a senator in 2014 for his own, very conservative Democratic Centre party. His ally, the former presidential candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga blamed the massacre on the government's "permissive" attitude to "terrorism," and for having become the "hostage of negotiations," also writing in Twitter. The conservative Senator Nohora Tovar Rey expressed her anger at the government's "tepid and conniving" response to the attack, and implied on Twitter that the government may have denied the base air support during the attack. The government recently suspended air bombings of FARC positions, though the Inspector-General Alejandro Ordoñez, another opponent of peace talks, now urged their renewal. Separately that day, Radio Santa Fe cited the army as announcing the arrests of at least 10 FARC fighters and collaborators. Three were caught in the central department of Tolima, and two of these were described as senior coordinators of financing and recruitment activities for the FARC. Seven suspected FARC collaborators were held in the south-western department of Nariño.

FARC guerrillas kill 10 soldiers in raid in western Colombia

Suspected guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed 10 Colombian soldiers when they atttacked an army base in western Colombia, very early on 15 April. The attack in the district of Buenos Aires in Cauca came in spite of both sides suspending fighting as they negotiate peace in Havana. The FARC effectively claimed responsibility for the attack, as one of their negotiators in Havana blamed the "clashes" that killed the soldiers on the government's "incoherence," for attacking the FARC when it was "in a state of ceasefire." Seventeen soldiers were injured, El Espectador reported. President Juan Manuel Santos deplored the attack writing on his Twitter account, and stated this is "precisely the war we want to end." He was to visit the site of the attack that day. The head of the Army's Third Division, General Mario Augusto Valencia, visited the base, which he said had been attacked with gunfire, explosives and grenades. El Espectador observed that the raid came hours after a FARC negotiator said in Havana that the rebels were considering abandoning arms for good, to hasten the end of decades of civil war. On 10 April, President Santos said in Bogota that as the FARC had generally respected their unilateral ceasefire in recent months, he was prolonging "for another month" suspending air bombings of FARC bases, El Tiempo reported.