Colombian protests over Stockholm FARC conference

A demonstration has been held outside the Swedish Embassy in Colombia against Sweden's allegedly soft line of FARC guerrillas. The protest was held after a conference was held in Stockholm in support of FARC members.

Sweden’s ambassador in Bogota, Lena Nordström, estimated that between 10 and 15 people took part in the demonstration.

Nordström was contacted by the Colombian foreign ministry last week, after details of the conference were published in the media.

Nordström said she told the Colombians that the conference was organized by an independent organization over which the Swedish authorities have no influence. She said she underlined that Sweden regards FARC as a terrorist organization.

“They contacted us last week about this, but we have sorted it out with Colombia’s foreign ministry. There is no misunderstanding about this,” she told Swedish news agency TT.

The conference was held in Stockholm on Monday by the Jaime Pardo Leal organization for Colombian exiles. The event was arranged to support two Farc members extradited from Colombia to the United States on drugs charges.

The demonstration outside the Swedish Embassy was arranged by the group Colombia Herida.

“It is ironic that a country that gave the Nobel Prize to the world can be so tolerant of Farc,” said the organization’s chairman Rodrigo Oberon told AP.

The dispute over the conference has been widely publicized in Colombian media, but Nordström said that both the conference in Stockholm and the demonstration in Bogota are isolated incidents that will not affect relations between the two countries.

FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has become notorious for carrying out thousands of kidnappings in the South American country, and for making millions through the trade in illegal drugs.