Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Alvaro Uribe calls FARC guerillas "terrorist mob"

Photo by Carlos Leon/La NacionBy Alvaro Murillo
La Nacion

San Mateo, Costa Rica - Colombian president Alvaro Uribe strongly criticized the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colmbia (FARC) while visiting Costa Rica.

Uribe called the guerilla group a "terrorist mob," four days after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged European and Latin American governments to stop branding the Colombian Marxists guerrillas as terrorists.

As he exhibited a never-before seen collection of photographs, showing hostages in precarious conditions that were published yesterday in Colombia, Uribe said there are no reasons to change the government's position towards the FARC.

"From Costa Rica I ask to the international community: can the people that torture like this be branded as aything else but terrorists? They will not fool us."

Uribe was in Costa Rica to celebrate the opening of an agricultural park founded by Colombian investors in the Central American nation.

While visiting the park in Alajuela Uribe also thanked the Costa Rican government and it's people for all the help that they have provided the Colombian refugees that have migrated there.

"Thank you for the hospitality that you have provided to these Colombians who, in darker days that we are now leaving behind, were able to find a warm reception in this country," Uribe said during a 27-minute speech.

Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias on the other hand said that it was an honor to welcome to the country such an outstanding Colombian that is fighting to bring back peace to Colombia

"Today Colombia can dream again, and can once again feel that it is possible to build a country where there will be no shots in the jungle, nor bombs in the city; a country where families won't be torn apart by kidnappings and the people will not be divided by weapons," Arias said.

Although he didn't mention Chavez's name during the speech, the Colombian President refused to give his opinion on the call of the Venezuelan leader to stop branding the FARC as terrorists.

Uribe simply urged the international community to keep the Colombian guerillas labeled as a terrorist group.

"Do you know when the guerrilla will sit down and negotiate?" Uribe asked. "When they feel that they have no allies left in the world."

The United States, France and Germany have already declared that they will keep the FARC labeled as terrorists.

The French government declared on Tuesday thru spokesman Pascale Andreani that they won't consider lifting the FARC's terrorist label until all the hostages held by the group are released.

Content from AFP Newswires was also used in this article.
Translation by Uri Ridelman

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