The Colombian TFP applauds
TFP Newsletter, Vol. IV – No. 17 – 1986
WHEN guerillas of the Marxist M-19 took hundreds of hostages in the Bogota Palace of Justice last November, the Colombian army responded in a way the guerillas had not expected. When the fighting ceased on November 7, the guerillas lay dead. On November 10, the Colombian TFP—itself victim of several terrorist attacks—published a manifesto in El Tiempo, Bogota's major newspaper.
In the manifesto, the TFP praised the energy with which the authorities had reacted to the brutal and bloody guerilla aggression. The TFP also expressed its sadness at the death of so many innocent people in the cross fire or at the hands of the guerillas.
Regarding the fate of the 12 Supreme Court justices, the TFP declared:
"This society [the TFP] cannot fail to express here its indignation and sorrow over the cruel assassination of the hostages. This feeling is intensified by the fact that the distinguished president of the Supreme Court of Justice, the most illustrious of the victims, was known for his strong support of a conciliatory attitude toward the subversives, for which, however, the assassins showed not the least sign of gratitude."
The manifesto recalled the amnesty granted the guerillas in 1982. Three years ago, the TFP had warned in El Tiempo:
"The TFP must voice its fear, which is surely shared by countless Colombians that, as things now stand, granting freedom through an unconditional amnesty to numerous active leaders of subversion would enable them to proceed headlong in our urban centers with a type of violence much more advanced than [the present] guerilla activity… The effect of the amnesty would not be the disarming of the guerillas, but rather the transfer of agitation from the deep of the jungle to the heart of the major cities.''
The TFP has repeatedly stressed that a radical antiguerilla reaction is indispensable. Its November manifesto stated:
"A superficial analysis of the events would create the impression that the radical solution is always the most cruel. Such an impression is a sad illusion of vacillating, indefinite minds, who think that every categorical attitude is necessarily reprehensible. The recent tragic episode illustrates the opposite to be true: Very often to radicalize is to prevent; it is to avoid disaster and bloodshed; it is to protect rights; it is to defend law and order. This is especially true when one faces implacable adversaries, such as the Colombian guerillas, who are incited, armed and directed by Havana and Moscow.
"This is the lesson given to our nation by the terrible attack on the Palace of Justice. Let us not forget that cruelty often consists in being soft, and not in being decisive, firm, and, in short, men of principles."