The guerrillas summoned Camilo Gómez to the jungle on Dec. 24, ruining his Christmas.
It was 2001, and Gómez was the Colombian government’s chief negotiator in failing peace talks with the rebels. He grudgingly said goodbye to his family in Bogota and went to meet with the two most powerful men in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. As usual, he went alone, like an envoy from a foreign nation.
The Marxist rebel army was near the height of its power then, dominating a third of the country with nearly 20,000 fighters. Gómez said he met on a riverbank with FARC founder Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda and legendary guerrilla commander “Mono Jojoy.” But this time, their usual swagger was missing.
Colombia’s long conflict was changing. The Americans were intervening. They called it “Plan Colombia.” more
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