The peace talks between the government and the FARC, which were set to start in Oslo at the beginning of October, have been delayed in part because the FARC insisted on including the Dutch guerrilla Tanja Nijmeijer.
Thirty-four-year-old Tanja is the second of three children of a middle-class family. Tanja grew up in Holland, and joined the FARC in 2003 when she was 21 years old after having spent time teaching English in Colombia. Though Tanja has spent a third of her life in the FARC, she has no rank and no influence.
In 2007, her diary was found.
“I do not believe in it (FARC) any more. What kind of organization is this? Some have money, cigarettes and sweets. The rest has to beg for everything only to be rejected by those who do have everything.”
“How will it be when we take power? The wives of the commanders in Ferrari Testa Rossas with breast implants eating caviar?”
“People here are terribly stupid sometimes. They’re incapable of being objective, keeping secrets and engaging in self-criticism…”
It was believed she would be shot.
But in 2010, she re-appeared in a video pledging allegiance to the FARC. Dressed in olive green fatigues and cradling an assault rifle, she said she would stay in the FARC “until victory or death, and there’s no going back.” Watch the video here.
Tanja, a linguist by training, speaks German, Dutch, Spanish, English, French and Italian, and the FARC will now present her as the “pretty face of international solidarity.”
Tanja was indicted in 2010 by a grand jury in Washington along with 17 others for alleged hostage-taking and other crimes related to the five-year jungle captivity of three U.S. military contractors whose plane crashed in 2003 while on a surveillance mission.