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Secret services accused of masterminding deadly blast

by ANNCOL Saturday, Mar. 15, 2003 at 12:24 PM

Colombia's main rebel army FARC denies responsability in the bombing of an exclusive up-town club in Bogota that left 37 people dead. In a strong declaration against terrorism, the guerrillas instead blame the official secret services for the attack.

On 7 February 2003, the bombing of an exclusive up-town club in Bogota, El Nogal, left 37 people dead. The authorities instantly seized the opportunity to declare this a terrorist act by the FARC with no evidence at all to back their claim.

President Alvaro Uribe Velez used the event to summon anti-terrorist outrage at home, in surrounding countries and in the world at large and get support for his war on the FARC, Within hours of the event, he was pushing other governments in the region to label the FARC a terrorist organisation.

In the statement below, issued on 9 March 2003, the FARC deny responsibility. Their statement should be taken seriously. In the collar bomb episode a couple of years ago, the FARC were instantly accused, but they denied any involvement. It was later discovered that members of the national security forces were the perpetrators in a premeditated and cruelly conceived plot aimed at discrediting the FARC and harming the peace process.

The war on terrorism in Colombia is a phony war based on fabrication, propaganda and support for the paramilitary strategy. It is a further invention to avoid any deep and meaningful discussion of the real issues which could lead to a political solution to the conflict, sovereignty for the nation, and peace with social justice. All of which would be one huge poke in the eye for US ambitions in the country.

The questions raised by the El Nogal bombing are disturbing, but no more so than the history of State terror in Colombia and its devious, underhand ways of manipulating public opinion. The sense of shock subsides and cynicism sets in when you look back and realise you've seen it all before a thousand plus times and more.

Who was responsible? Who is always responsible? Thoughts turn to the security forces, the paramilitaries, the government, the State and the CIA.


ANNCOL is pleased to provide our readers with an English translation of the latest communique from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP):



The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army, inform the national and international public:

1. That the Secretariat of the Central General Command of the FARC-EP, after having carried out a patient, rigorous and serious investigation throughout all its politico-military structures, including all blocks, fronts, columns, companies, guerrilla units, special forces and urban brigades, concludes that none of the units belonging to its organisation had any responsibility for the events that took place at the EL Nogal Club in Bogota on 7 February 2003.

2. Our revolutionary perception makes us certain that the authors of the events at El Nogal were the same as in 'the collar bomb', the same as those who ended the lives of the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice in 1985, the same as those who sacrificed, without caring that he was of the same class and a loyal representative of their interests, Doctor Alvaro Gomez Hurtado, the same as those who killed Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento, because they believed that he, superficially if not fundamentally, represented a new option; the same as those who, alongside the merchants of death, created a chain made of pain and frustration upon which hung the assassinations of the presidential candidates Jaime Pardo Leal, Carlos Pizarro Leongomez and Bernardo Jaramillo; the same as those who used bullets to exterminate the Patriotic Union and outstanding leaders of the Communist Party, as well as hundreds of trade union leaders, campesinos, indigenous people, intellectuals, journalists, students, satirists and lawyers.

3. The State terrorism behind of El Nogal merely sought to unleash anti-guerrilla hysteria within the country in order to gain approval for Congress's Anti-Terrorist Statute. And in the international arena, it was to clean the image of and gain solidarity with the paramilitary government of Uribe Velez, by committing some countries to a crusade against the FARC under the pretext that it is a terrorist organisation.

Fortunately, some governments did not jump on the bandwagon, preferring to nurture a sane and fraternal hope with the Colombian people to be able to contribute sooner rather than later to a negotiated political solution to the social and armed conflict which has cursed us for decades. Neither the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Countries in their resolutions, nor the Organisation of American States point directly to the FARC-EP as a terrorist organisation.

4. How suspicious is the speed with which representatives of the State and the Colombian government, pressed by the North American State Department, came out accusing the FARC as the authors of events at El Nogal, also making links with ETA from the Basque Country and the IRA from Northern Ireland, so creating an ill-intentioned and distracting smoke screen to protect those who were really responsible.

5. We ratify one of the conclusions of the Eighth National Guerrilla Conference in 1993: "We want to demonstrate clearly our condemnation of terrorism, independent of its origin. Violent acts designed to intimidate the civilian population or individual actions which supplant those that need to be developed by the people can only end in uncertainty and popular repudiation.

Our policy is just because we are the interpreters for a country intimidated by State terrorism which has been unleashing its cruelty on the people for 45 years.

Secretariat of the Central General Command of the FARC-EP

Mountains of Colombia, 9 March 2003

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