FARC Frees 97 Political Prisoners in Colombian Jailbreaks

On May 7, rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) used dynamite, machine gun fire, rockets and homemade
missiles to blast their way into a jail in Caloto municipality, Cauca department, and free 61 prisoners, including FARC members.

On May 7, rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) used dynamite, machine gun fire, rockets and homemade
missiles to blast their way into a jail in Caloto municipality, Cauca department, and free 61 prisoners, including FARC members. [AP 5/8/01]

The jail break came two days after suspected rightwing paramilitaries killed seven villagers and wounded five others in a rural area of Caloto; the assailants accused their victims of supporting the rebels. [AP 5/6/01, 5/8/01; EFE 5/6/01]

On May 8, suspected paramilitaries massacred four members of a single family in a rural area of Patia-El Bordo municipality, also in Cauca department. [El Pais (Cali) 5/10/01; EFE 5/9/01]

The Caloto jailbreak was the FARC’s third successful prison breakout in as many months: on Feb. 14, the FARC liberated 19 prisoners from the Neiva jail in Cauca department; and on Apr. 17, FARC rebels blew up a prison wall in Florencia, Caqueta department and freed 35 prisoners. [Reuters 4/18/01, 5/8/01; El Colombiano (Medellin) 2/21/01]

Author: NICARAGUA SOLIDARITY NETWORK OF GREATER NEW YORK

News Service: Weekly News Update on the Americas #589, 5/13/01

URL: http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/chiapas95.html