DEL PRESIDENTE DE LA REPÚBLICA
Versión en inglés
Colombian Government blames the terrorist group, FARC, for the
murder of the eleven Valle del Cauca department members of parliament,
death that has been informed by that same criminal organization.
- For the Colombian Government the liberation of hostages has been
- When the rescue mission of the former Minister Gilberto Echeverri,
of Governor Guillermo Gaviria and their companions in captivity
was attempted, the FARC assassinated most of them, in defenseless
conditions, thrown on the floor, without engaging in combat with
the Military that had not arrived to the zone. When military helicopters
were heard, the survivors told the President, the bandits abandoned
the camp, as the soldiers had not arrive they then returned and
assassinated the kidnapped.
- Since that day the Government made the decision to previously
inform the families of the kidnapped of any military rescue
operation, which does not implicate requesting permission to
comply with the Constitutional duty. In fact, Mr. Alberto Araújo
Merlano, father of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernando Araújo,
was previously informed of the rescue operation by the Minister
of the Defense and by the President of Colombia.
- Government and Armed Forces had agreed that upon locating the
place where the kidnapped were held captive, before launching a
rescue operation, the operation would be rigorously studied and
would need a specific and necessary authorization, or the option
of blockading the zone would be considered and demand through national
institutions and the international community that the terrorists
proceed to free the hostages.
- The Government had not informed the families of any rescue operation,
because none was under way due to the fact that the location of
the hostages was unknown.
- The Government has also expressed to the governments of the United
States and France, to Presidents George W. Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy,
that in the event of locating the place of captivity of the hostages
Ingrid Betancourt and the three North American citizens, before
launching the rescue operation those governments would be informed
and listened. They have not been informed because the place of
captivity has not been located.
- The European emissaries, with authorization from the Colombian
Government search for a humanitarian agreement, held
a meeting with FARC’S terrorist Raul Reyes, during the
third week of June of the current year. The delegates of the
France, Spain and Switzerland, had programmed an evaluation
meeting tomorrow in Geneva, which still stands.
- The members of parliament would have been assassinated by the
FARC, vilely. The Armed Forces were not in any rescue operations
because there was no place of location.
- The Ministry of Defense has the following operation records:
June 18 there were no combats in the departments of Cauca or
Valle del Cauca. There were combats
that day in San Pablo, Puerres,
department of Nariño against FARC’S 48th front, without
any results. There was an exchange of shots between an Air Force
helicopter that was giving support to the reparation of the Transandino
oil pipeline between Nariño and Putumayo departments, and
terrorists on land. On June 17 there were combats in Maguí Payán
(Nariño) where a FARC terrorist was killed, the weapon was
recovered and two 81 millimeter handcrafted mortars. On June 18,
in that same location of Nariño department, harassment to
the Armed Forces was carried out with no consequences. On June
19 there was an engagement in Victoria, Cauca, where 4 FARC terrorists
were killed; two rifles, short range guns and grenades were recovered.
On that same June 19, there was a combat on the Maguí River,
Nariño department, where there were no killings and
5, 81 millimeter grenades, 740 cartridges and 26 camping
- The assassination of all hostages, without survivors, except
one that would be apart from the group, shows criminal premeditation
that wants to be presented as crossfire with the Armed Forces,
which never existed. The hypothetical death of the hostages,
no terrorist deaths, without soldiers killed or wounded, proves
that there was no such crossfire, that the terrorist FARC wants
to hide this crime against humanity that they would have committed.
- The FARC practice assassination of hostages and lie to hold crossfire
with the Armed Forces responsible for the fact. The assassination
of Helmut Bickenbach and his wife Doris Gil, both held hostage,
must be reminded when they said it took place during an attempted
rescue operation, which was not executed because the Armed Forces
were a day away. There are many cases like these of Colombians
and foreigners assassinated by the FARC in identical circumstances.
- The criminal purpose and concealing by the FARC is evident. Their
press release talks about an unidentified military group, which
is unusual in this terrorist group. The press release does not
give the location of assassination nor does it inform about the
corpses. The press release is dated June 23 when the events would
have occurred on June 18, and it is only made public today, June
- The government has not received information from any citizen or
from a different source regarding any possible combat where 11
members of parliament might have died. The seriousness of the event
would have made it difficult to go unnoticed during 10 days.
- The FARC searches to cowardly conceal their responsibility in
a crime against humanity that turns civilians into defenseless
victims kidnapped by terrorists.
- We ask for the support of the international community in the search
of the bodies, and when found, we will request an international
forensic commission to explain to the world the circumstances of
this heinous crime.
- The Government will not accept blackmail, it will not accept demilitarized
zones, it will not free guerrillas so they can return to the FARC
to assassinate and kidnap.
- We ask the international community to strongly condemn the FARC
- In midst of the pain for the victims and their families, we appeal
to the support of the Colombian people who have been the cornerstone
of the Democratic Security policy.