Inside the Colombian FARC -- Colombian Thoughts About Guerrillas going on
WE TOOK TWO WEEKS ...AWAY
In our investigative research for a book about our 'Colombian Dream' We decided to travel to Colombia two weeks ago. We had the advantage of the language and our friendly attitude. You hear stories of Snipers, factions, drugs and Women... and plastic surgery of course. We were invited and we went. Yes, we love to travel!
We arrived on January 14th, 2012. Our vacation was set for those days... and we were ready.
TULUA VALLEY CITY
75 MILES NORTH FROM CALI
Was a Saturday night and was time to dance Salsa and Merengue with local chicks. In Colombia drinking is a rite with all its hoopla similar to the Irish Pubs. Our Spanish was fluid and we danced with monumental women. The main rum from cane is called 'aguardiente' and most drink it like tea. We did venture ourselves and it was kinda sweet but. Sounds from Aventura the dominican group, and Salsa tunes were to its highest.
OUTSIDE THE BAR
A group of friends were drinking on specific tables outside the Bar. The rustic chairs made of Bambu made a difference... Suddenly 3 motorcycles appeared on scene. In no time, the seated buddies got shot at close range by the "Moto ratones." We all ran for safety and hell broke lose. It was a retaliation from another drug faction that wanted to control this small city at the Cauca Valley. I was about to take a taxi and head back to the Airport but it was 2 a.m. Heard of horrible stories that happened around that time, and I wanted to make it back. Every move had to be thought twice. Just Picture Rambo in Thai city.
I carefully walked to my hotel room, and felt asleep after watching 'Sex and the city.' The idea was to get down to earth Interview with a young guy that was going to come to us. His Alias was 'Anaconda Jairo' or A.J.
Sunday January 15
'Anaconda Jairo' came in a 'Buseta' (bus) From the mountains that surround the valley, he mentioned the area where he came from as Angostura. He called our room and waited for 5 minutes on the front lobby's guest couch.
Why did he do this, and why I was risking my life going to nowhere's land? Through our messenger (msm) he wanted to let us know how the FARC was from the inside and after the death of MONO JOJOY, TIRO FIJO and top Senior Commanders of this clandestine Army group he wanted to communicate to the world his own experiences. What we surely know is that the US has helped our Colombian allies (Government) with drones and sophisticated state of the art guerrilla tactics, and Israel was about to sell them a few in their fight against Coca harvests and Insurgents like FARC or EL (Ejercito de liberacion in Spanish)
A.J. was waiting at the Lobby from this Hotel. He suggested to go to my own room. "You never know who is gonna shoot you in this jungle," He said worried.
"These taxis and motorcycles are not safe in here," he said, perhaps, worried of being caught by authorities or his own comrades. His head was sweaty and...yep he was around 24 years old. Just picture Bangkok outside, and hearing Choppers on top of this Hotel. They are not weather choppers, they are Helicopters from the Colombian Army.
Joseph: Last time you told me this... it was a matter of time for the demise and physical annihilation of your organization...
A.J.: Our group is trained to diversify our capabilities and If they kill our high rank Militants, we are ready to take care of ourselves
Joseph: Is it truth that you guys, kidnap young kids from poor farmers and even...
A.J.: I know what you mean, just let me answer.....
Joseph: Was going to ask also that you, yourself and your group infiltrate civilian life in order to carry your intelligence.
A.J.: . We dress like any other people, we come down from the mountains to get some shopping done and have some fun with the ladies. And yes, We need the most of our own brother in arms to fight the system.... And if we had to use our guns to "borrow these young kids," we had to it. As a young man myself, volunteered to the cause. My own Girlfriend joined 6 months later.
Joseph: This fight started 45 or 50 years ago. Don't you think this should end? What 's the purpose of your fighting?
A.J.: We are not happy with a few rich guys that take control of the other 95%. Your Country, the U.S.A. is the most dangerous influence to our own internal fight.
Joseph: Seems that you guys are the black sheep of your own people. Getting weapons, armaments and ammunition through drug dealing...
A.J.: We do what we can. We don't have access to banks and the cash is there at the "caletas." Uncle Sam is a good customer and we need the money.
Joseph: How about sex and marital life?
A.J.: We try to maintain a good relationship with our own women. We keep a group of young doctors for critical interventions. We have our own made-up schools for the ones that cannot read. In general we are nomads in arms.
Joseph: You didn't answer my questions my friend...!
A.J. : like I said, we all have needs and we try to live a normal life, and sex comes when needed.
Joseph: Well, seems that you want to skip this question but, hum.... Why me?
A.J.: We read your articles and we did read your Colombian dream essays?
Joseph: Hubs A.J., We called them hubs, as in capsules...
Suddenly AJ received a call on his Nokia C-3. His eyes got a sparkling look. He smiles telling me not to say a word while speaking. His answers were a nodding 'yes', or a 'no,' then more smiles. "Is my girlfriend," he says. "We are going to leave this life by the Amnesty offered by our President Juan Manuel Santos. We knew this was coming. Demobilization was an option and we wanted to start a dialogue with our actual President. The Secretariat was about to get disbanded, you know Lord?"
I was with him and I suggested to stay in touch. If he ever needed some advice. "I can introduce you to my sister who is 29 and lives in Cali," He told me after hanging up the cell on her Girlfriend who was part of an elite squadron at the Meta area. "That would be too fast A.J. I need to get to know your Country and...What I meant to say was that I'm the typical Gringo from Up North. "I know amigo," He said while he was checking his backpack and his text messages. "I want you to come back to Colombia again 'Hermano.' Is time for a change and this senseless civil war is about to end."
I shook his hands at the Bus terminal here at Tulua city and headed back to the International Airport Alfonso Bonilla. He left and quickly got lost between the crowd. This was an unforgettable experience and I promised to come back. When I was on the American Airlines plane over Florida I found a number on a piece of paper which read, "This is my sister's phone number. Diana Carolina is her name. Hasta la vista amigo!"
WARNING: This is a fictional interview, but the places and the story are close to a real event. The 'fact' is that we did travel to those places for research from January 14 through the 29. Check the first picture above.
'ENE 14 2012
ENE 29 2012'