Colombian Defence minister Rodrigo Rivera said that the FARC guerrilla movement is surrounded and with its operational capacity very diminished and limited, because of the current policy from the administration of President Juan Manuel Gomez.
“The FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) are surrounded and we are going to smoke them out of their burrows” said Rivera in an interview published in Santiago’s daily El Mercurio.
“To pacify the country we don’t need permission from the guerrilla” said Rivera who last week visited Chile to sign a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation, training and information between the Armed Forces of both countries.
“The FARC are running away from a great offensive of our law enforcement and military forces. They are confined to very remote places of our national geography where they have historically had their main camps and where they feel a bit safer and at ease because they know the terrain”, said Minister Rivera
The Colombian minister said that the guerrilla no longer has the capacity to organize massive kidnappings, and the few they manage have had an immediate response from our military and police forces that have rescued or set them free. Nor have they access to the large urban centres”.
He added that the Colombian government decision to pacify the country is clearly reflected in that “we’re after them. We’re on the offensive, after their burrows”
Nevertheless Rivera admitted that it’s a decision that “exposed our men to the guerrillas’ antipersonnel mines, explosives, booby traps, which is the price we must pay to finish with the FARC, ELN and other criminal gangs’ structure.
Parallel to the offensive the Colombian government has an offer with guarantees for those members of the guerrillas that turn in and hand over their weapons “because we don’t want any more killings, not even more terrorists”.