Let there be lights: how Colombian government is trying to lure rebel fighters home for Christmas

 

It has to be one of the more unusual attempts from the Colombian government to put an end to Latin America’s longest standing armed conflict: scattering 10,000 LED lights over vast swathes of the country’s hinterland, in an attempt to lure FARC rebels home for Christmas.

The video, produced by advertising agency Lowe SSP3 and which launches next week, shows the innovation used in recent years to get the Marxist/Leninist revolutionary guerrilla group who have been involved in armed conflict with the government since 1964, to surrender.

As the second round of peace talks began in Cuba last month, many ordinary Colombians are hoping next year will see a complete end to the violence from both sides of the conflict, which has blighted the country for decades.

Using military intelligence reports, the agency found that the guerrilla command posts had been repositioned throughout different areas of Colombia, in an attempt to prevent desertion. 

Operation Bethlehem’s key objective was to give the FARC guerrillas a ‘guiding light’ which leads the way to freedom.

The team travelled with army and navy protection, to key towns located close to FARC camps.

The campaign uses TV and billboards, as well as powerful beacons of light placed in key town plazas. They are currently illuminating the sky every night giving the demobilising guerrillas a direction to go to if they manage to escape from their camps.

Over 10,000 LED lights were dropped by the Army on foot and from helicopters along key Guerrillas routes in the jungle, to guide those wanting to leave.

The agency created glow in the dark stickers, which the army laid out, on foot, on trees along strategic pathways.  Working in conjunction with Military Intelligence, the agency identified pathways where vehicles carrying supplies for the guerrilla pass and attached the glow in the dark stickers to them.

Taking into consideration that the rivers are the jungle’s highways, they also installed glow in the dark billboards carrying the following message: “Guerrilla, Follow the Light”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SEO Account Manager

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SEO Account Manager is requi...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant - Global Leader - FTSE 250

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Representative

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family run school photogra...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - OTE £42,000

£28000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a leading s...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map