Colombia reveals list of firms targeted by FARC

4th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday revealed a list of companies which the government says were targeted by leftist FARC rebels for blackmail, including Microsoft, Nike and Toyota.

The list was included in a stash of documents found by security forces in the belongings of a rebel nicknamed "Bryan" who was allegedly a blackmail specialist, Santos said on the sidelines of a meeting in coastal Cartagena.

Among the 130 letters found were some addressed to US software giant Microsoft, the Colombian branch of sports apparel maker Nike and Japanese automaker Toyota, Santos said, according to a statement issued by his office.

Oil companies and several unnamed individuals were also mentioned in the seized letters, he said.

Security forces said Friday they had arrested Dario Gutierrez, the rebel known as "Bryan".

Santos had recently noted a surge in the number of extortion and kidnapping for ransom attempts made by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who are seeking new sources of financing to keep up their decades-long fight.

The Colombian president has repeatedly threaten to expel any multinational that caves in to FARC demands.

The Colombian government has battled the FARC -- Latin America's oldest rebel movement, which is now estimated to have about 8,000 fighters -- since 1964.

© 2011 AFP

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