On September 1st, the El Tiempo [ES] newspaper of Colombia wrote about the army's findings after raiding an insurgent camp back in July. One of the hottest news items, possibly because the information found on revolutionary leader Carlos Antonio Lozada´s laptop computer [ES] is classified, is a diary found at the camp. This set of spiral notebooks contains the thoughts and feelings of Tanja Nijmeijer, a Dutch woman who for the past 5 years has been living and working with the FARC, the Colombian revolutionary armed forces. Within this group, she is known as “Eillen”. The partial content of these diaries has already been published in newspapers and online, both in Spanish[ES] and in English, by Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
In Colombia, Tierra Galactica y Cosmica! [ES] Paul O'Leary sums it up:
…En este diario Tanja Nijmeijer escribe lo que ya sabemos los colombianos y esta sabiendo todo el mundo, pero sobre todo los europeos que creen que estos narcotraficantes están luchando por la vida y la libertad (mas asesinos y violadores que estos narcos de las farc hay pocos en este mundo)…..escribe que las farc es una carcel, una basura…donde algunos tienen rolex y otros son tratados como animales(ella misma) y los guerrilleros razos. dice que en medio de la soledad de la selva, los guerrilleros de las farc tienen sexo todo el dia, hasta contagiase de sida,osea….. culiar,matar y culiar que este mundo se va a acabar!
…In this diary, Tanja Nijmeijer writes what all of us Colombians already know and the rest of the world is finding out, particularly the Europeans who believe that these drug traffickers are fighting for life and freedom (there are few in the world who are more of assassins and rapists than these narcs)… she writes that the farc is a jail, a garbage dump… where some have Rolexes and others are treated like animals (like she) and the private life of the guerrilla. She says that in the middle of the solitude of the jungle, the Farc guerrilla members have sex all day long, to the point of getting AIDS, in other words.. to fuck, kill and fuck because this world is coming to an end!
In Tumbo2 [ES], stultaviro takes it in with a dose of humor:
Conmoción en Holanda por ‘Eillen’, una joven de ese país que se enroló en las filas de las Farc. Voceros de la organización N.T.N.I.D.L.Q.P.E.C.P.L.F.S.C. (No Tenemos Ni Idea De Lo Que Pasa En Colombia Pero Las Farc Son Cool), anunciaron la apertura de varios puntos de inscripción en todo Amsterdam para atender la horda de jóvenes enloquecidos por seguir los pasos de su compatriota, quien según estadísticas en la última semana logró desbancar en popularidad a Paris Hilton, Harry Potter y Shrek.
Commotion in Holland due to “Eillen”, a young woman from this country who enlisted in the ranks of the FARC.
Las historias de Tanja e Isabel, de tantos otros jóvenes que entregan su vida a la lucha por ideales de justicia social e igualdad enrolándose en las FARC desafortunadamente quedan registradas como algunas de las más tristes crónicas utópicas que conocemos hoy en día, como un testimonio más de la criminalidad absurda que no parece tener fin en Colombia y de las utopías enfermas que pretenden aliviarla…
The stories of Tanja and Isabel, and of many other young people who are dedicating their lives to fight for ideals of social justice and equality by enrolling in the FARC, unfortunately remain registered as some of the saddest utopian chronicles we know of today, like another testimony of the absurd criminality that seems to have no end in Colombia, and of the sick utopias which pretend to relieve it…
Ojalá esta situación sirva para que los gobiernos de Europa Occidental pongan presión sobre los terroristas, la misma que están poniendo sobre el gobierno colombiano por sus vínculos para militares. No debe eliminarse la fiscalización al gobierno de Uribe y debe comenzar a hacerse a los narcotraficantes y asesinos de las FARC.
Let's hope this situation makes the Western European governments apply pressure to the terrorists, pressure them the same way they are doing with the Colombian government because of their connections with the para-military forces. The overseeing of Uribe's government should not be stopped and it should begin with the drug dealers and assassins of the FARC.
Colombians and foreigners alike debate in Poor But Happy, where Tinto succinctly posts the article and the comments bring it to life, skipping from privacy issues, to possible retaliation, to international recruiting efforts by the FARC, to what draws these foreigners to join the guerrilla[ES]:
Sr Tertius comments:
Here's another issue: Regardless of whether she is a criminal or not, her privacy should be respected, no? Her diary is a private document, and the police and army may use it for intelligence and whatever other purposes, but what purpose does it serve to make it public?
Billyb comment seems to reflect what many other Colombians could be thinking, but don't dare write about directly:
Regarding the point made, differentiating political and common crimes, what happens when the lines between the two become nebulous when applied to the organization (the FARC in Her case) you delinquent in? As for wishing her evil, she enthusiastically joined an organization that kidnapped 3 of my cousins, one who they put a bullet in his head and another we never saw again and I'm sure she's participated in actions where unarmed civilians have lost their lives, and as far as I can tell, her dairies have not expressed any remorse for the loss of innocent lives. As a matter of fact she laments the fact that she didn't get the chance to kill the helicopter crew. Whatever good she thought she was doing by joining the FARC will never in my mind balance out what has happened to so many innocent people at the hands of the FARC. So I see no need to cut her any slack. To many people, specially foreigners, the conflict in Colombia is a chance to participate in an abstract intellectual feelgood exercise, but to many of us it's a bitter personal experience.
It seems that Tanja isn't the only foreigner recruited by the FARC [ES], and it is yet to be seen what will happen to her, if the FARC will kidnap, torture or kill Eillen for her lapse in judgement or if they'll let her loose and let the Dutch and Colombian government to deal with her.
(Foto courtesy of geenstijl)