BOGOTA – The FARC launched five offensive actions last month in violation of the unilateral, indefinite cease-fire that began on Dec. 20, said a report by CERAC, a think tank that studies violence in the country.
Specifically, there were “two ambushes and two harassments of army troops,” and one case of “setting fire to a public transport vehicle” in which “two soldiers died,” the Resource Center for Analysis of the Conflict, or CERAC, said in a report to which Efe had access.
Investigators at the think tank have recorded all aggressive actions since March 10, when President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the armed forces would refrain from bombing guerrilla camps for another month.
The measure, which aimed to reduce the intensity of the armed conflict that has gone on for 50 years, was extended by Santos for another 30 days in response, the president said last week, to the FARC’s compliance with the cease-fire.
CERAC investigators say that since March 10 they have recorded, besides the actions previously noted, “13 cases of combat in which the FARC took part, two of them launched by the guerrillas,” in which “five guerrillas and six soldiers” died, while “one civilian, nine soldiers and five guerrillas” were wounded.
They said the aggression level of the armed group, which “continues to be at its lowest since records began to be kept (in 1984), nonetheless represents a substantial increase of FARC violence since the cease-fire began.”
Meanwhile, CERAC said that suspending the bombing of guerrilla camps “caused no tactical loss of military advantage, nor a reduction of the armed forces’ capability to provide protection.”
According to CERAC, from the end of December until today, violent actions in the Colombian conflict have chiefly been the work of the National Liberation Army, or ELN, the country’s second-largest guerrilla group, which has “intensified its aggression” and has carried out 78 percent of all violent actions in that period.