Tanja Nijmeijer, Colombia's mysterious Dutch guerrilla

Tanja Nijmeijer, Colombia's mysterious Dutch guerrilla

23rd October 2010, Comments 1 comment

Following a deadly raid, authorities are investigating the fate of Tanja Nijmeijer, who left a middle-class life in the Netherlands to fight in the jungles of South America.

Nijmeijer, 32, was on a path to become a schoolteacher, a prospect very distant from her last known picture, where she appears in camouflage next to Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas.

Colombian intelligence officials had information that Nijmeijer, code-named "Alexandra" and the sole known European fighting with FARC, was working as a personal assistant to Jorge Briceno, the late commander known by his code name "Mono Jojoy."

The military initially believed it had found Nijmeijer's body amid the wreckage of a major FARC hideout that was bombed and stormed September 22-23, in a raid it said killed Briceno and at least three other senior FARC members, all women.
"We are investigating reports of 'Tanja's' possible death. According to intelligence services, she joined the guerrilla unit close to 'Mono Jojoy,'" a Defense Ministry official told AFP.

But authorities later said Nijmeijer's dental records did not match the female bodies found in the destroyed rebel command centre.

Colombia, Bogotá : Undated handout picture released by Colombia's presidential press service showing Tanja Nijmeijer, a dutch woman that joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), posing at a guerilla camp in the jungle of Colombia. The picture was found on a computer that the government claims belonged to Jorge Briceno, the legendary leftist guerrilla chief in Colombia known by the alias "Mono Jojoy" who was killed two weeks ago in an attack by the Colombian armed forces.

Military investigators did, however, find data in the bombed-out camp showing that Nijmeijer has risen up the ranks and is close to the main FARC leaders.
An email dated 5 April and addressed to Briceno notes that Nijmeijer had joined the FARC's international team, a sort of foreign affairs ministry for the rebels.  
"Amid so many tragedies, Alexandra's arrival is good news. Putting her on the international board was great," the message read in part.

Born in 1978 to Hannie and Hans Nijmeijer, a Catholic middle-class couple, she did not seemed destined for the rigors of life in the Amazon jungle, said Leon Valencia, who co-wrote a biography of the Dutch guerrilla.

Tanja Nijmeijer (R)

Nijmeijer, who had a background as a leftist activist, travelled several times to Colombia and even lived for a time in Pereira, an impoverished city in the heart of Colombia's coffee-growing region 360 kilometres (225 miles) west of Bogota.

Reportedly shocked at the income gap between rich and poor, she joined the FARC in November 2002. Her first assignment was in an urban guerrilla unit in Bogota, where she spied on Colombia's bourgeoisie while teaching English as a private language institute.

The rebels then trained Nijmeijer on how to use weapons and make bombs. According to authorities, she participated in an April 2003 bombing in Bogota that killed a child and wounded 16 people.

She made the headlines in 2007, when advancing Colombian soldiers came upon her diary in a hastily abandoned FARC jungle camp.

Tanja Nijmeijer (R)

The diary, published in Colombia's leading newspaper El Tiempo, detailed petty squabbles among the rebel leaders, privileges the leaders enjoy, and how far the guerrillas had strayed from true Marxist ideals.

Her critiques in the diary apparently enraged FARC leaders, and there were calls for her execution. But Nijmeijer's language skills were vital to the guerrillas, and she appears to have worked as an interpreter and translator for the insurgents.

Despite the critiques, Nijmeijer's diary shows "great determination to head towards danger," Valencia said. "She always wanted to engage in combat."

AFP/ Michaela Cancela-Kieffer/ Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • tanjanij posted:

    on 27th December 2010, 20:16:33 - Reply

    tanja is not a communist. communists are good for the community. tanja is a spy of the dutch government. she works for the dutch crown and the imperialistic system of their belief. calvinism.
    she is supposed to get access to farc to infiltrate farc, so to get oil, therefore becoming oil supporter for shell or royal dutch petroleum!
    if she is a communist, why is she harming the people of colombia and not the the real enemy of communism? why is she harming innocent people in colombia and not trying to assassinate the dutch crown? assassinating the head of royal dutch petroleum the dutch crown would be by far more communistic than killing poor people in colombia? if she does love the colombian people, how many children does she has with a colombian boy? if she has children, are they supporting farc or are they living a rich life in the netherlands? she is a puppet of the dutch crown. shoot her in the back of her head! fuck tanja nijmijer! she is a big big lie! the farc should kill her!