SEMANA/Revelation | 1/19/2009 12:00:00 AM
“We can’t let this appear as a massacre. That would be a problem.”
On September 14th, the Army major and commander of the ELN alias “Ernesto” had a long conversation in which the guerrilla tells the major that he needs for him to take his troops out of the town of Pueblo Nuevo so that they can take advantage of festivities taking place there and assassinate several FARC militants. The official agrees to move Army members out, but asks the guerrilla to try to avoid that the murders appear as a massacre and that it is preferable to have the murders occur outside of the town limits in order to avoid problems.
Ernesto: So what can we do so that we don’t trip over each other? Brother, let’s see if maybe there the Army… leaves the town while we whip those guys.
Major: But it’s inside the town?
Ernesto: Yes, it is inside.
Major: I would have to… today is Thursday. They would do that when, Saturday or Sunday?
Ernesto: That would start tomorrow.
Major: At night?
Ernesto: Yes, tomorrow they begin to wait for those guys because it’s because that, I mean, the guys already have a network to extort taxes for a few people.
Ernesto: So, the SOBs are going to leave- on Saturday to collect. That’s on Saturday. In other words, they are coming between tomorrow and Saturday.
Ernesto: They are going to go get the money, then.
Major: Well, watch out for them, watch out for them. I will organize something to the east, towards the sands.
Major: You will be free to do as you wish. You say that it is in the town itself, right?
Ernesto: Yes, in the town.
Ernesto: If you can block them off from the sands, do it.
Ernesto: Yes, you can do it down there maybe the guys can be killed and they won’t go up.
Major: Hell no. You know what the problem is? I’m thinking that I always have my men there.
Ernesto: Oh, really?
Major: Yes, but well it is personnel who what they mostly do is… well, it isn’t that it is an obstacle but rather that we will have to find some objective elsewhere.
Ernesto: Yes, yes, let them let us do our work.
Major: Yes, yes, that’s right. And so that they don’t suspect anything either.
Major: That is the business. Wait and I will organize it this afternoon. I don’t think that it is a problem. And for how many is that mission? For how many people? Because we can’t have it look like a massacre or something like that because that is a problem.
Ernesto: (Laughs) No, I’d say around three, about three SOBs, no more than that.
Major: And hopefully they will be very spread out. Or take them out of town.
Ernesto: Look in any case, if it is possible, it will be done out of town.
Major: Sure, sure. Excellent.
Ernesto: The problem is that we are going to catch them red-handed.
Major: Oh, alright, alright, I understand you.
Ernesto: If they let themselves be caught and all that shit, then fine. But if they don’t, then we’ll have to kill them there. What else can we do?
Major: Well, brother, look, tomorrow we will have to talk again. I have been calling you for a while. Did the calls register?
Ernesto: Nothing, man. I had it (cell phone) turned off.
Major: Oh, OK. In any case, tomorrow we’ll talk.
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