Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | November 11, 2010

Two Sisters: One with Ak-47, Another with a Peace Plan

Tanja Nijmeijer, alias “Eileen,” is known as the FARC’s Dutch guerrilla. Tanja arrived in Colombia in 2000 and spent a year teaching English in a small school in Pereira. It was part of her degree in Romance Languages at the University of Groningen. In a video, she explains that she befriended another teacher who told her the government used the army to massacre its own people. The teacher knew how to affect Tanja’s sensitivities about social inequality.

Tanja came home to Holland and worked as a political activist for another year, and upon her realization that “the revolution will happen in Colombia,” she returned to Colombia and joined a Bogotá militia group of the FARC. Six months later, she accepted an invitation to a training camp in the jungle, and she made the choice to stay “in the mountain.” Tanja, now 29, has been in the FARC for eight years.

In a video released recently, she said, “If the Colombian army and the Colombian government still think and try to divulge that I am kidnapped, I would say come to rescue me. We will greet them with Ak, Point 50, mines, all of it. I am a guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and I will continue to be a guerrilla until we conquer or until death. And in that, there’s no reverse. And even more so, I feel proud, proud to work here alongside the Colombian people and other guerrilla members for the take of power and for the revolution.”

Her sister, Marloes Nijmeijer, has been visiting Colombia and has become involved in social projects like “Madres de la Candelaria,” which seeks to reconcile victims and perpetrators, and “Manos por la paz internacional,” which provides psychological and legal aid to demobilized guerrillas. Watch an interview of Marloes here.

About Tanja, Marloes says, “I get angry that she thinks one can change a society through violence. I would like some day for her, with her energy and her personality of a fighter, to engage in non-violent forms” of bringing change.

Marloes adds, “We never thought she was kidnapped. We knew she was there voluntarily.”

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Responses

  1. Hey this is a decent write up. Can I use a portion of it on my blog ? I would of course link back to your site so people could view the complete article if they wanted to. Thanks either way.

    • Hello:

      Of course you can use it on your blog if you’re linking back to it, even more so. Thank you!


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