Colombia may face stiffer FARC opposition

10:27, June 25, 2010      

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A major Colombian rebel group blamed the election of former defense minister as new president for instigating more conflicts in the country, local media reported on Thursday.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in a statement published by the Nueva Colombia News Agency on Thursday, that there will be an eventual "radicalization of the political fight" following the election of Juan Manuel Santos, a tough fighter against the rebel group.

"With the illegitimate triumph of the continuity political system, repudiated by the abstention of the people, the country has entered a radicalization process of the political fight, where the people are the main character on the front line," the rebel group said.

"We are in for another four years of oligarchy offense against the people, in all the orders, besmeared with official sweet and tricky promises around a military victory as they have told us without stop for 46 years," said the FARC.

The group slammed the government's "Democratic Security" program for enabling it to "choose as president the defense minister who has boosted more (of) these crimes against the humanity."

It was FARC's first public reaction since the former defense minister was declared winner of Sunday's run-off of the 2010 presidential election.

Manuel Santos was elected to replace outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, after surpassing opposition candidate Antanas Mockus. Manuel Santos will take office on August 7.

The outgoing Colombian president said Thursday he would request French President Nicolas Sarkozy to help him re-capture Rodrigo Granda, a member of the FARC, who was released in 2007 due to a petition from France.

"We accepted President Sarkozy's request to release Granda; tomorrow (Friday) during the G8 meeting I will ask him to help me to re-capture him ... I will tell Sarkozy that I have released that bandit, but it worked for nothing," Uribe added.

Granda was detained in late 2004 in Venezuela by Colombian agents. The incident of cross-border arrest aroused a diplomatic impasse between Caracas and Bogota, which was later ironed out with the mediation of Cuban Leader Fidel Castro.

Granda was released to work as a mediator for the release of Colombia's former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, with both Colombian and French nationalities, who had been taken hostage by the FARC.

Granda is accused by the Colombian justice and investigated in Paraguay for kidnapping and murdering former Paraguay President Raul Cubas' daughter.

Invited by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,President Uribe will attend the G8 Summit scheduled for June 25 and 26 at Huntsville, Canada.

Source: Xinhua


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