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Colombia Blames FARC for Deadly Attack Amid Negotiations

The first FARC attack since last July took place a day after Colombian congressional elections, and in the middle of peace talks.
March 11, 2014, 10:55pm
Photo via AFP

On Monday, an attack that Colombian officials say was carried out by the rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed four members of the Colombian army and injured four civilians.

Armed FARC guerrillas disguised as construction workers opened fire on members of the Colombian military on a road in La Montañita, a town in the southern region of Caqueta.

The attack is the first from the FARC since last July. It took place a day after Colombian congressional elections, and in the middle of government peace negotiations with the guerrilla group.

The peace talks were a major focal point of Sunday’s elections, in which politicians stressed the relative stability Colombia has experienced in recent months.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Aurelio Iragorri highlighted a 90% reduction in armed hostilities since the 2010 elections.

The Centro Democratico party, the conservative party of former President Alvaro Uribe, won 20 seats in Sunday’s election. Centro Democratico is known for its vehement opposition to the FARC peace talks. The increased support towards Uribe’s party could be indicative of the country’s growing shift toward more hard-line tactics against FARC and state security tactics.

FARC was established in 1964 after a period of intense conflict between liberal and conservative parties in the 1940s and 1950s in Colombia. The rebel organization is composed of about 7,000 guerrillas, and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and members of the military. Conflict with the FARC has dominated Colombian political life over the past five decades.

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