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Wanted Dutch guerrilla hosts FARC news show

October 2, 2014

Colombia’s leftist FARC movement has launched an online news show from Cuba presented by a notorious Dutch woman guerrilla who is wanted in the United States.

The show, published on YouTube and other sites Tuesday, will be produced every three days during peace talks in Havana between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The first edition was presented by Tanja Nijmeijer, who also uses the nom de guerre “Alexandra Narino,” and fellow FARC member “Boris Guevara.”

Guevara said the FARC wanted to enable a “better understanding” of the negotiations and hoped to break the Colombian government’s “media siege.”

Tuesday’s show included an interview with FARC commander Ricardo Tellez.

As part of the two-year-old talks, victims of the conflict — which dates back to the 1960s and has killed 220,000 people and displaced millions more — are giving testimony in Havana in a bid to help the two sides reach a deal on reparations.

The current negotiations between President Juan Manuel Santos’s government and the FARC have made the most progress so far toward ending the conflict.

Nijmeijer, a former English teacher from the Netherlands, joined the FARC in 2002. Born in 1978, she is the group’s only European member.

The United States has charged her with terrorism and conspiracy to commit hostage taking in the kidnapping of three American contractors in 2003.

The show can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZfnFwULcLI#t=254

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.