The leadership of Colombia’s FARC insurgency acknowledged that one of its units carried out last week’s deadly bombing in the southwestern town of Pradera and said the commander who ordered the attack would be disciplined.
“The order came from the commander of one of the units that make up the FARC’s Arturo Ruiz Mobile Bloc, a situation that leads to our open reproach and the application of the appropriate disciplinary correctives,” the FARC Secretariat said in a statement published Friday.
This marks the first time the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by the Spanish acronym FARC, has repudiated an attack carried out by its fighters.
One person was killed and more than 50 injured Jan. 16 when FARC combatants detonated a motorcycle bomb in the center of Pradera. The vast majority of the casualties were civilians.
The attack came a day after the end of the FARC’s unilateral, month-long holiday truce.
While the commanders who ordered the blast “never had the intention of causing any damage to the civilian population,” they cannot escape responsibility for failing to anticipate the effects, the FARC Secretariat said.
“This is not the way to wage war, that is not the philosophy nor the political or military orientation which characterizes us,” the guerrilla leaders said.
The FARC’s public condemnation of the Pradera attack should be seen in the context of the ongoing peace process between the guerrillas and the Colombian government, analyst Ariel Avila told Efe.
“They need to provide confidence, that’s why they do it,” Avila said.
Launched in November 2012, the peace process aims to end decades of conflict in the Andean nation.