Dutch FARC guerrilla Tanja Nijmeijer says she does not want to be rescued from the Colombian jungle. In a new video obtained by Radio Netherlands Worldwide she says she will stay with FARC until she dies or until victory is achieved. And if they try to rescue her "we will meet them with machine guns, mines and mortars."
Tanja's father says he is pleased that RNW let him see the videos and photos of his daughter before they were published, but neither parent was prepared to comment further.
Jorge Enrique Botero
The footage of Tanja comes from the freelance Colombian journalist Jorge Enrique Botero. In August he set out into the Colombian jungle where he spoke with FARC leader Jorge Briceno, better known as Mono Jojoy, and with Tanja Nijmeijer. Jojoy was killed in September in a large-scale assault on a FARC encampment by the Colombian army. The journalist had previously filmed Tanja Nijmeijer in 2003 when she was acting as an interpreter for a senior FARC commander. He is currently making a documentary about the FARC.
The video footage (also see RNW's other stories) was shot in August, a month before the Colombian army's assault on a FARC camp which led to speculation that the 32-year-old Dutch woman was dead. The journalist who interviewed her says she is still alive.
In the video Tanja is wearing a green army uniform and has an assault rifle in her lap. She makes it clear she will not consider surrendering:
"If the army and government of Colombia still think or say I was kidnapped let them come here and rescue me. We will meet them with AK47s, bazookas, mines, mortars, everything."
Years of living in camps has not diminished her determination as a FARC guerrilla:
"I am a fighter for the Colombian revolutionary forces and I will remain so until victory is achieved or until I die. There is no turning back. I am proud to be a guerrilla and to be able to work together with the Colombian people and the other guerrillas, to take power and proclaim the revolution."