Colombia's Marxists 'using IRA techniques'
JEREMY MCDERMOTT IN BOGOTÁ
COLOMBIA’S most senior general said a change in tactics by the country’s Marxist guerrillas indicated that they were using new techniques taught to them by the IRA.
General Carlos Alberto Ospina said recent rebel attacks bore the hallmarks of methods learned from Irish republican terrorists.
"What we are now seeing with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] is the direct result of training given by the IRA," he said.
Three Irishmen, Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan, were arrested in Colombia in August 2001 after a tip-off from British intelligence, as they stepped off a plane that had come from a FARC stronghold.
Connolly was Sinn Fein’s representative to Cuba, while Monaghan and McCauley had proven links to the Provisional Irish Republican Army and are believed to be explosives and mortar experts.
Read the whole thing here.
These were old charges, but now they have resurfaced given support by changes in the rebels tactics that mirror those used by the IRA and now by witness testimony.
The Times reports:
THE commander-in-chief of the Colombian army says that a member of the Farc guerilla group who defected last month has admitted he was trained in terrorist techniques by the Colombia Three.
It is the first report of a Farc guerilla to claim he was trained by them since two defectors refused to testify in the Irishmen’s 2003 trial.
General Carlos Alberto Ospina says he personally interviewed the former member of Farc, who claims he was shown how to use explosives, landmines and mortars by the IRA team.
Read about it here.
Now somebody tell me please, just how does training Marxist guerrillas in Colombia contribute in any way to achieving the political goals of the IRA in Northern Ireland?