Although usually a source of public statements for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the domain www.farc-ep.co has apparently been hacked, and is alternately leading to the page of a Buenos Aires night club called Fernet Friday or a notice claiming that the server is down.
Another site which has previously published FARC statements, www.anncol.info, was also offline Thursday, with a message in Swedish saying the account had been “disabled.” Anncol, a Sweden-based information site commonly carries FARC communiques.
Fernet Friday has denied any part in the hack. “We wish to clarify that we have no connection with the FARC and are not responsible for this hack. We still do not know what technical problem could have caused this,” reads a message from the club posted on the site.
InSight Crime Analysis
The hack ocurred just as authorities and journalists are waiting for official word from the guerrilla’s seven-man ruling body, the Secretariat, on whether the group is indeed holding missing French journalist Romeo Langlois.
Langlois went missing on Saturday after the army and police troops he was accompanying on an anti narcotics mission came under attack by the FARC’s 15th Front in Caqueta province. Four soldiers were killed but survivors said they saw Langlois turn himself in to the rebels, identifying himself as a journalist. On Tuesday a woman claiming to be a member of the FARC’s 15th Front telephoned a local journalist to say that the group was holding Langlois as a “prisoner of war.”
Because this would seem to clash with the spirit of the rebels’ February announcement that they would no longer kidnap civilians, and because the rebels generally issue their statements in written form, the claim has been met with some skepticism. The FARC’s website and Anncol were still online on Tuesday. Now with the FARC page and other sites that traditionally carry rebel messages down, a credible statement about Langlois’ alleged kidnapping may not come anytime soon.