INTRODUCTION: Colombia suspended diplomatic relations with Cuba on Monday (23 March), accusing it of training anti-government guerrillas.
SV ZOOM GV Colombian soldiers manning road-blocks. (2 SHOTS)
CU ZOOM GV Passengers leave bus at roadblock.
GV PAN Seafront of Tumaco. (2 SHOTS)
SV Soldiers patrolling streets.
GV PAN Cemetery.
SV PAN Newly dug graves.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Colombia suspended diplomatic relations with Cuba on Monday (23 March), accusing it of training anti-government guerrillas. In a nation-wide address, Colombian President Cesar Turbay said Cuba had provided arms and training for a group of guerrillas who entered the country secretly two weeks ago.
SYNOPSIS: Soldiers have set up road blocks in southern Colombia, after reports of at least three clashes between guerrillas and government troops within the last month. Two were in the south-western Pacific coastal region, and the other some 500 kilometres (300 miles) further inland, across the Andes. The soldiers claimed to have captured leading members of the M-19 guerrilla movement.
The Colombian government says the guerrillas came from Cuba and landed here, at the fishing village of Tumaco on the Pacific coast. The government showed evidence of its drive against guerrilla incursions on television last weekend, when an 18-year-old captured guerrilla told reporters how he and 69 other men received three months training in Cuba. He said his guerrilla group then flew to Panama City from where they shipped to Colombia. The guerrilla said he was injured by grenade fragments during a battle with government troops.
Tumaco, the alleged landing point of the guerrillas, is now controlled by security forces. The captured guerrillas said he received no help from peasants. Sixteen of is colleagues were killed when he was captured. The government has said all of the dead were members of the left-wing M-19 movement.
Those who were killed were buried in simple graves dug in the sand. The Colombia government has claimed its counter insurgency operations against the M-19 group have dealt a mortal below to the guerrillas.