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Monday 20 October  
Tanja Nijmeijer
Edwin Koopman's picture
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Bogota, Colombia
Bogota, Colombia

FARC rebels shower praise on Dutch member Tanja

Published on : 14 May 2010 - 5:11pm | By Edwin Koopman (photo: RNW archive)
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Colombia’s FARC rebels say Tanja Nijmeijer’s diary has been misused in order to blacken the guerrilla group’s good name. The claim is made on the FARC’s website, and includes praise for Ms Nijmeijer - a Dutch national - which seems to indicate she is still alive.

[see also: Tanja Nijmeijer close to FARC leadership]

The title of the three-page internet article is Alexandra, the Dutch woman fighting with the FARC. Tanja Nijmeijer took the nom de guerre ‘Alexandra’ when she joined the FARC eight years ago. The article is accompanied by a photo of a woman FARC fighter together with an indigenous girl. The woman doesn’t actually look like Ms Nijmeijer.

Singing
The article is written - by someone called Gabriel Angel - in a way that indicates the author knows her well: “It’s a pleasure to hear her sing with her soft voice, sometimes in Dutch or English and maybe in another language,” he writes, calling her both ‘Alexandra’ and sometimes ‘Holanda’.

“It goes without saying that she’s beautiful. She also speaks English, Spanish and Dutch. But, it’s surprising how modest she is! That must be because she comes from a family that worked on the land. She’s proud of that heritage.”

Most of the article is devoted to describing the 2007 raid by government forces on the rebel camp where Ms Nijmeijer had been living. The army soldiers came across her diary which contained lots of criticism of the FARC. The diary, written in Dutch, made worldwide news.

Gabriel Angel describes this as manipulation. “The negative passages were used to damage the reputation of the FARC throughout the world,” he complains. “Maybe the generals thought […] that we’d fall into their trap and get rid of this malicious interloper who had caused us so much harm,” he writes ironically, actually indicating that Ms Nijmeijer has not been killed. “Everything that’s been said and written about her is a lie.”

Gun at the ready

Ms Nijmeijer is praised for her heroism during the army raid, “carrying her heavy backpack and with her gun ready in her right hand”. The description goes on: “This is the real Holanda, not the weepy and miserable girl depicted in the international media.”

She is said to be conscious of her role as a revolutionary: “She knows how much Europe has harmed Latin America over the centuries. She is trying to pay back a little of that enormous historical debt by what she is doing and the example she is giving.”

The FARC article praising Nijmeijer the revolutionary comes as a book and a documentary on her are about to be released in the Netherlands. Both feature statements from senior Colombian military figures and ex-FARC members confirming that she is alive.

It had been thought possible that she had been punished and maybe even killed because of what she had written in the diary and the fact that this had been made public following the raid. With the internet article, the rebels now themselves appears to be stating that she is still alive. They may want to show how reasonable they are and how dedicated a fighter Holanda really is. Despite their attempts to make contact with the FARC, Tanja’s parents have had no news about their daughter since 2007.
 

Discussion

Roger Furness 6 August 2011 - 4:20pm / UK

well we can't judged,we will be judged;-) I would salute her for her courage and determination. What she went through was something no ordinary woman or man would go through.

Regards,
alarm burgler company,www.affinityone.co.uk

Roger Furness 6 August 2011 - 4:15pm / uk

extraordinery woman,I would salute her went through,ordinary people would not ever go there.

tupac yupanqui 6 December 2010 - 7:21am / U.S.A-Native American

SEBASTIAN COLOMBIANO HIJO DE PUTA! ILLEGALLY "WORKING" IN SPAIN (SHOPLIFTING, POCKETLIFTING, SELLING YOUR BODY PROSTITUTO LIKE ALL THE COLOMBIANS WHO "WORK" ABROAD, THE SHAME OF LATINAMERICA "SUDACA HIJO DE PUTA" QUE HABLAS? BASURA GARBAGE OF THE COLOMBIAN GENOCIDAL SOCIETY, BEGGING TO SURVIVE IN EUROPE! HAVE SOME DECENCY AND WORK FOR YOUR COUNTRY LIKE TANIA, WHO HAS NO NEED TO STRAIGHTEN UP THAT PIECE OF SHIT THAT COLOMBIA IS AND THANKS TO HER GOOD HEART SHE DOES IT RISKING HER VALUABLE LIFE FOR YOU THANKLESS DELINCUENTS TO HAVE A FUTURE. I JUST HOPE NOTHING HAPPENS TO OUR DEAR TANIA, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DUTCH GIRL EVER, A BEAUTY IN HER OWN RIGHT, IN AND OUT. A TRUE REVOLUTIONARY. WATCH THE INTERVIEW PIECE OF IGNORANT BEFORE OPENING YOUR DIRTY MOUTH. NOW DON'T TELL ME YOU'RE NOT COLOMBIAN! YOU STINK SO MUCH, YOU'RE COLOMBIAN.

Anonymous 15 August 2010 - 5:30pm

well the picture shown in the corresponding article on the farc website is very small... too small to identify her imho. taking into account that the article is rather recent (2010ish) it is rather odd that the same picture (with better resolution) was used in an promational farc video on youtube. said video was from the end of 2007 (i think it was uploaded in september 2007). a dutch guerilla fighter would make some kind of an promotional asset to the farc, but after the diaries which were found in 2007 one would guess that they would have started some kind of counter-proganda thingie using her... to offset the diaries (which after all painted a rather bleak kind of picture of daily with the farc). apparently they did not... which makes me wonder if the rumors of her death in 2007/2008 are in fact correct?! otherwise they would have surely used her for pr-activities... makes me wonder why they didn´t use a more recent photo in conjunction with their latest article on their website... it shouldn´t be too hard to make a few digital pictures of her instead of that small picture they used...

Sebastian Ubaldo Nivia 16 June 2010 - 4:48am / Spain

It's outregous. Tanja must be either very stupid or she must have, most probably, a very expensive taste for free cocaine. Farc is the largest drug trafficant organization in Colombia and it is not, by an absolute shot, a far left political organization. It is a plain criminal organization which keeps a dream of power using drugs as the fueling vehicle. Revolutionary? my foot!

Anonymous 3 June 2011 - 1:24pm / USA

You need to learn to think for yourself and to be more critical of the right wing propaganda campaigns that are currently CONTROLLING your philosophy.

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