The FARC High Command is claiming responsibility for a pair of high-profile attacks that occurred in the west and north of Colombia during the past two weeks.
Despite initial allegations that the FARC were responsible for a bombing and helicopter crash, the country’s oldest rebel group hadn’t officially acknowledged its involvement until recently.
Padera bomb attack
The FARC delegation to ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government released a statement Tuesday, admitting the rebel group did indeed plant the motorcycle bomb that left one dead and 56 injured in the western city of Padera on January 16.
After having “investigated” the incident, the FARC delegation attributed the attack to members of the Mobile Block Arturo Ruiz, one of the FARC’s elite units active in the western state of Valle de Cauca.
The rebel group’s leaders “never had the intention to cause injury to non-combatant civilians” and announced “disciplinary measures” for the units responsible for the attack, according to the peace delegation’s notification.
The incident came just one day after the FARC ended a month-long unilateral ceasefire and was condemned by Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos as a “vile act of terrorism.”
On Friday, wanted FARC Commander alias “Timochenko” claimed that a fatal helicopter crash in northeast Colombia was the result of a joint military effort by the country’s most prominent rebel groups, the FARC and ELN, according to the El Colombiano newspaper.
The helicopter, a military vehicle, went down on January 9, in the town of Anori, Antioquia, leading to the deaths of five National Army soldiers.
Colombia’s former President Alavaro Uribe was the first to accuse the FARC as the ones responsible for the incident. He claimed last week that a rebel attack had caused the crash, and not an accident, as had been originally claimed.
Despite Timochenko’s announcement, the military are still investigating the incident, and haven’t ruled out technical or human failure as a possible cause of the accident, El Colombiano reported.
- Farc y Eln derribaron helicóptero con militares en Anorí: “Timochenko” (El Colombiano)
- FARC Admits to Deadly Bomb Blast in Pradera, Says Unit Responsible will be ‘Disciplined’ (NTN24)
- COMMUNIQUE ON PRADERA (FARC Peace Talk Delegation Press Release)