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Saturday 20 December  
Colombian ambassador to the Netherlands Francisco Jose Lloreda
News Desk's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amnesty no longer an option for Tanja, says Colombia

Published on : 16 November 2010 - 9:27pm | By RNW News Desk (Photo: ANP)
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Tanja Nijmeijer has lost her chance to be granted amnesty, "She is a terrorist who has committed serious crimes," Francisco José Lloreda, the Colombian ambassador to the Netherlands, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide after seeing new video material of the Dutch FARC guerrilla fighter.

Ambassador Lloreda had told RNW before that Nijmeijer was a criminal but, nevertheless, the Colombian government was willing to offer her a way out. Colombia's Vice President Angelino Garzón said last month that she would have nothing to fear if she left the FARC voluntarily. That amnesty offer has now been withdrawn.

After seeing the latest video footage of Tanja, the Colombian ambassador has lost all sympathy for her.

"She confesses to planting bombs in cities and she glorifies terrorism. She is unmoved by the plight of the victims and admits that she herself is a terrorist. She is trying to present a distorted image of the FARC. The fact that she is a foreigner makes no difference: if Tanja is arrested, she will have to answer to the people of Colombia for her crimes and the pain she has caused."

Amnesty arrangement

Dutch specialist in international criminal law Geert-Jan Knoops stresses that the offer of amnesty could have been withdrawn at any time by the Colombian courts.

"An amnesty offer can be withdrawn if certain crimes are so serious that they should be prosecuted anyway. This is not only the case in Argentina and Chile, but also in other countries. "

Voluntary confession
According to Mr Knoops, it's impossible to say how significant Nijmeijer's confession is. "Tanya is not necessarily liable because of her statement that she has planted bombs for the FARC." If it appears that she was coerced into issuing that statement, then the confession has no value.

If it is established that the statement was made voluntarily, then the overall story must still be considered, says Mr Knoops. First, it must be determined whether Tanja's statements are consistent with the objective facts, as he explains: "That means, for example, in this case, there must be a specification of what buses and companies were attacked. Information that the suspect has given must not already be in the public domain."

Personal responsibility
The Dutch government's position remains unchanged. The Hague says she has freely chosen the life she is leading, she is responsible for her own actions and must therefore accept the consequences.

Ultimately, the Colombian authorities must determine her guilt or innocence, says the foreign affairs ministry: "It is a general principle of international law that a crime committed in the Netherlands is prosecuted in the Netherlands. A crime that was committed in Colombia is prosecuted in Colombia".

If Tanja Nijmeijer is arrested, she will have the right to consular assistance, just like every other Dutch citizen.


LEOIESCRIBO 9 December 2010 - 3:05am

She is not a hero, she is a simple criminal out of law. End of this issue

Vera Gottlieb 29 November 2010 - 8:57pm / Germany

Wake up, Annonymous...Sept. 11 was an inside job and by now - you obviously excepted - most people know this. There is more than enough evidence if you care to search.

Vera Gottlieb 24 November 2010 - 8:54pm / Germany

And was Sept. 11 not an inside job??? The excuse the US government was looking for to start attacking at will any country, anywhere? For trying to be a world Empire it certainly is crumbling rather fast - thank goodness!

Anonymous 24 November 2010 - 11:40pm / lalaland

Vera, to allege that it was an insider job is as insane and lunatic as to contend that Nazi Germany had to invade Poland in 1939 ,because the Poles were attacking Germany.

Vera Gottlieb 23 November 2010 - 8:27pm / Germany

And we are not going to better this world by just standing by and doing nothing, not even trying. Most of us don't like violence and yet, look at the Western powers - mostly the US - totally destroying Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that never attacked us. All this modern technology used to kill others. Not very progressive, I would say. At least that Dutch woman, right or wrong, is sticking to her convictions, something I could not say for many a Western wishy-washy and corrupt leader.

Joe 23 December 2010 - 8:50pm

Y9ou aern't going to achieve a better world by lie-ing to yourself and parroting whatever idiotic pieties make you feel good. I, myself, heard islamists for years say that they were going to war with America whether America accommodated them or not. Out of simple emotional satisfaction and to fill in the gap in their irrelevance, many European simple agreed with it. Bin Laden admitted to committing the 9-11 attacks.

What more do you want?

Another thing: haven't you noticed that the passive-aggressive "demands for transparency" that 9-11 truthers parrot sounds so much like the passive-aggressive 9-11 truther "just asking questions and seeking transparency" trope? It's a personality issue. The same type of character fills in the blanks in their impotent rage with the same idiotic accusations that THEIR society is somehow reponsible for any thing that goes wrong in the world. Having watched it for 30 years, I can only say that it's a phyciatric problem.

Anonymous 24 November 2010 - 2:49pm / Lalaland

Who did actually start the violence? Were they not the extreme Islamic terrorists who killed on September 11th, 2001 so many innocent people in New York and the Pentagon with their dismal and revolting attacks? They opened up a hornet's nest and are now paying up for all their violent, barbaric and repugnant aggression.

Anonymous 24 November 2010 - 2:31am / Lalaland

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder.(George Bernard Shaw)

Anonymous 23 November 2010 - 9:38pm / Lalaland

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

Vera Gottlieb 23 November 2010 - 4:10pm / Germany - This video has been forbidden in Colombia. Why is it that when indigenous people fight for their country and rights they are branded "terrorists"? Yet Western countries that bring nothing but destruction and misery are branded "democracies"? It is always the same...Caucasians raising hell when that, which they have stolen through the years, is returned to the original owners. As I said before, all of Latin America knows what Uribe stood for - and Santos not much better - and yet, Europe keeps turning the blind eye. Vast natural resources and deriving profits at play?

Anonymous 23 November 2010 - 5:04pm / Lalaland

Vera you are full of Weltschmerz and criticism; you cannot change the world as it is; most people don't like violence, planting bombs, killing innocent people, destroying buses and bus stations. Modern engineering and modern technology are most important to the future of this world, not words that fade away without any sensible creativity and reason.

Andre L. 23 November 2010 - 6:05am / Tilburg, Netherlands

@Vera Gottlieb: you can't justify a crime with another. The FARC, as from 2010, is nothing more than a bunch or narcoterrorists on the verge of annihilation.
No war or armed conflict is every beautiful, everybody suffers when they happen. Still, NOTHING justifies the FARC farce. Even more important, IT IS NO DUTCH BUSINESS to mingle with Colombian internal affairs, and a very stupid move from Mrs. Nijmeijer to start a criminal career abroad.
Still, I think she was just (another) victim of youngish idealism and brainwashing. It is sad to say this, but I honestly wish she gets caught or killed before her criminal career as a terrorist affects more innocent people (they are always the ones to bear the most of the consequences anyway). She could have a good life in the Netherlands and chose to join a terrorist group, so she's risking being killed at any moment.

Anonymous 20 November 2010 - 2:18am / Lalaland

What Radio Netherlands does is excellent investigative journalism! It is not biased, shortsighted information, but a coverage of all aspects of an important topic. Is the FARC an organization of angels and
altruists? No reasonable person would think so ,and the majority of Colombians are not supporting at all the FARC and their ideology.

Vera Gottlieb 17 November 2010 - 5:36pm / Germany

Why does RNW keep inerviewing and supporting Colombia's stand? Why doesn't RNW take the time to tell the readers of all the atrocities that Colombia has been carrying out against FARC, against labour leaders, displacing peasants? Why doesn't RNW take a closer look, a very close look, as to what former president Alvaro Uribe was up to in his 8 years in power? In Latin America it is no secrect that Uribe supported the narco traffickers, it is no secret that Uribe's father founded the paramilitaries and it is no secret that almost the entire Uribe family is involved in narco trafficking.

janv 20 November 2010 - 1:16pm / canada

Thank You Vera! Finally someone who speaks with knowledge and truth.

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