Saturday, November 30, 2002

Colombia: not just delicious coffee

Bikini-clad babes won't drop in on Colombian war

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Busty, bikini-clad models won't be air-dropped into Colombia's combat zones, after all.

The war-torn Andean nation's first female defence
minister, Marta Lucia Ramirez, cancelled the army's campaign to seduce Marxist rebel defectors with pictures of near-naked women.

In the thousands of pocket-sized portraits already printed, and waiting to be air-dropped over battlefields, the voluptuous vixens were presented as a perk for desertion.

"Desert! And obtain benefits," read one pamphlet, depicting a brunette stretching provocatively in a striped bikini.

Of Colombia's more than 20,000 Marxist rebels, about 70 percent are men -- stacking the odds against the male fighters, many of whom are still in their teens.

To have sexual relations with a female rebel, male guerrillas must first ask permission from higher-ranking officers. The rules of engagement are painstakingly detailed on the Web site,, of the country's largest rebel army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

An army officer, who declined to be named, said the portraits were taken from an Internet porn site.

"I, as a woman, add myself to this protest. I also don't like these calendars," said Ramirez, herself a former teenage covergirl, who modelled fully dressed for a glossy Colombian magazine while she was in college.

Ramirez told local press the posters did not fit within the government's concept of "rehabilitating these boys, re-socialising them, and making them useful to society."


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