Suspected Colombian Rebels Kill Peasant Farmers
BOGOTA, Colombia – Suspected leftist guerrillas killed at least 14 peasant farmers who were cultivating coca, the green bush used to make cocaine, at a remote hamlet in northwest Colombia (search), officials said Thursday.
Fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (search), or FARC, killed 13 men and one woman during the attack Wednesday near Puerto Valdivia, some 250 miles northwest of the capital of Bogota (search), Antioquia state deputy governor Jorge Mejia (search) told Caracol radio.
Mejia said the fieldhands were probably targeted because they had been selling their coca to the rebels' outlawed right-wing paramilitary foes.
"It's a coca-growing area, an area permanently being fought over by the guerrillas and the paramilitaries," Mejia said.