Left-wing rebels killed at least 17 peasants in northeast Colombia on New Year’s Eve in reprisal for cooperating with far-right paramilitaries, police and local authorities said Saturday.
The massacre, in which police said four children and six women died, took place Friday night in the town of Tame, in the province of Arauca near the Venezuelan border. The oil-rich region is contested by Marxist rebels and their paramilitary foes.
The victims were gathered for a New Year’s Eve celebration when they were attacked, said Tame Mayor Alfredo Guzman.
Police say the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, carried out the crime. Authorities say the group killed nine peasant coca growers in August and 34 in June in the neighboring province of Norte de Santander. [Rebels Kill 17 Peasants in Colombia, Police Say]
FARC was established in 1964 by the Columbian Communist Party to defend Communist controlled areas and is considered the best equipped insurgency of Marxist origin in Latin America. You would think that Communism is a religion meant to defend the rights of peasants and common folk from exploitation. But looking at their activities, the same people are exploited and murdered.