In a twisted way, women in the FARC are carving a path for themselves: as female snipers for pro-Gaddafi forces, and they are appeareantly very good. The Washington Times reported women from the FARC have joined other mercenaries coming from Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Ukraine, and they are each paid $1,000 a day. The women allegedly shoot to kill and their victims have sustained head, chest and neck injuries.
The FARC has maintained ties with Gaddafi for some years, according to information found in laptops belonging to Raul Reyes, a FARC chief killed in a bombing raid by the Colombian army. One computer contained a letter to Gaddafi asking for a loan of $100 million to buy weapons. President Santos said Gaddafi offered the FARC $300 million but it is unclear if the transaction happened.
It’s a surprise that female FARC members are serving as mercenaries in Libya. Women make up 30 percent of the estimated 8,000 (or more, plus sympathizers) FARC combatants in Colombia. The women are often very young, even as young as pre-teens. Often, the pretty girls are forced into the role of a commander’s lover (read: sex slave), and the not-so-pretty girls are delegated to the group’s chores, like cooking, tending the fire, and washing. Virtually no woman has attained a high position within the FARC and no woman has ever been a member of the FARC Secretariat.
In Colombia, in groups who claim to be fighting for social equality, it is most telling that men still push women into minor roles. The female snipers are obviously bright and tough, and have navigated and risen through a macho system, and it is unfortunate that their strengths could be not be funelled into a project away from violence.