Tanja Nijmeijer: why I joined the FARC

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

In this second exclusive video, Tanja Nijmeijer talks - in Dutch - about her early experiences in Colombia and her reasons for joining the FARC rebel movement. She explains how she began to realise what the Colombian government was doing to its citizens and how she became a guerrilla.


Tanja Nijmeijer has spent about eight years living in FARC camps in the jungles of Colombia, but she still thinks often about the Netherlands. In an exclusive interview with RNW - in Spanish - she says she often used to listen to Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

"In the early years I used to listen to Radio Netherlands a lot. They used to play the Wilhelmus [the Dutch national anthem, ed.] at the end of the broadcasts [on the Dutch shortwave service, ed.]. I got nostalgic whenever I heard it. It was played during the football World Cup as well and that made me homesick too."

She also misses her family and friends:

"I get nostalgic when I think about my friends too and, like the other fighters, it makes me sad to think about my family and about the Dutch landscape. In the beginning I was even nostalgic when I spoke Dutch, since I had to speak Spanish all day and couldn't speak my own language. My Dutch was better then. Now I speak better Spanish and I don't feel homesick any more. I still get nostalgic, though, when I think about the Netherlands, about cheese and little things like that."


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