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Latino Daily News

Sunday December 16, 2012

Is the Colombian Peace Period Over Already?

Is the Colombian Peace Period Over Already?

Photo: FARC rebel group

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A group of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebels attacked the police station of a poor northwestern Colombian town, an assault that comes less than a month after the guerrilla group’s leadership declared a unilateral two-month truce.

Local authorities on Saturday reported the gunfire attack in the town of Murindo, although National Police spokespersons told Efe they would not provide details on Friday afternoon’s incident for the time being.

The government secretary of Antioquia province, Santiago Londoño, told Caracol Radio that the attack lasted 45 minutes and that no casualties or damage were reported.

Local media reported, however, that several people were treated for nervous attacks at an area hospital.

“The FARC’s 34th Front, which is present in the area of the Atrato Medio (River), has carried out 10 attacks on the town of Murindo over the past two years,” Londoño said.

The aggressors are a “small faction of that front” who, though they only direct their attacks against the police station, “generate fear in the population.”

On Nov. 19, the FARC’s leadership declared a unilateral two-month cease-fire that took effect the following day, a move that was not reciprocated by the Colombian government.

The truce comes amid peace talks in Havana between the rebels and a Colombian government negotiating team.

The FARC’s 36th Front, active in much of Antioquia, said following the unilateral truce announcement in the Cuban capital and after knocking down two power pylons that they carried out those actions because they were unaware of the cease-fire order.