Free Press Journal

Eight FARC rebels die in Colombia military operation



Bogota: At least eight FARC guerrillas were killed and two others wounded in a military operation in the northwestern province of Antioquia, the army said.

“In Alto de La Cruz, outside the city of Segovia, 10 members of the FARC’s 4th Front and the Raul Eduardo Mahecha company were neutralised. And two minors were rescued and provided with medical assistance,” Spanish news agency Efe on Sunday quoted the army as saying in a statement.

The term “neutralised” is used to refer to dead, wounded or captured combatants, military spokesmen told Efe. This is the latest blow to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the past few days.

A total of 27 FARC guerrillas were killed in an airstrike in a rural area outside Guapi, a city in Cauca province, on Thursday.

President Juan Manuel Santos, meanwhile, said his administration was ready to speed up the peace process with the FARC. Only a peace agreement can lead to a final bilateral ceasefire, a demand made by the FARC, Santos said.

“We have to make decisions to end this war as soon as possible. And I’m ready to accelerate the negotiations to achieve that bilateral and final ceasfire as soon as possible,” the president said on Saturday.

Santos had announced the resumption of air raids on FARC camps after 11 soldiers were killed in a rebel attack on an army patrol in April.

The FARC responded on Friday to the latest airstrikes by suspending their months-old unilateral ceasefire.

The suspension of the unilateral and indefinite ceasefire, declared as part of peace talks with the Colombian government, “was not under consideration, but the incoherence of (President Juan Manuel) Santos’s administration has made it happen”, the high command of FARC said in a statement datelined from the “mountains of Colombia”.