Dutch FARC Guerrilla Gives TV Interview
News from Colombia |
on: Sunday, 7 November 2010
A Dutch woman who has spent eight years fighting alongside of leftwing FARC rebels in Colombia has become the first European member of the guerrilla group to give a press interview. In the parts of the interview that have so far been made public, 32-year-old Tanja Nijmeijer, who describes herself as “proud to be a guerrilla”, explains what led her to join the insurgency and accuses the Colombian Government of using the army “to exterminate its own people”.
The Colombian authorities have reacted angrily to her comments with Francisco Jose Lloreda, the Colombian Ambassador to Holland, accusing Ms Nijmeijer of being a “criminal” and a “terrorist” and likening the FARC to Al-Qaida.
The interview was recorded on behalf of Radio Netherlands in August this year by Colombian freelance journalist Jorge Enrique Botero who is making a documentary about Ms Nijmeijer’s life. The segments that have been released are thought to be just a small proportion of the footage that he recorded.
Ms Nijmeijer joined the FARC in 2002 and is thought to be the only Dutch citizen fighting for the guerrilla group. Several other Europeans, as well as a number of Latin American leftists, are also believed to have joined the FARC in recent years though Ms Nijmeijer is the first to have given an interview.