FARCed Up

A Che-obsessed Dutch woman who joined a Columbian revolutionary group found out that it’s not all sunshine and butterflies

The army stumbled on the handwritten diary during a raid on a guerrilla camp. It lay near the embers of a communal kitchen where fleeing rebels left their breakfast untouched.

“I’m tired, tired of the FARC, tired of the people, tired of communal living. Tired of never having anything for myself,” wrote the author, a 29-year-old Dutch woman.

Colombia’s government couldn’t have hoped for better propaganda against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. It leaked excerpts from the diary found last June to the media, even making available an English translation of the Dutch entries.

The first known person from outside Latin America to join the region’s largest rebel army wasn’t just disillusioned. Like most FARC foot soldiers, Tanja Nijmeijer apparently wasn’t permitted to leave.

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