Explosive Journey




- Apelación sentencia absolutoria y condenatoria, James W. Monaghan, Martin J. McCauley y Niall Connolly por Entrenamiento para actividades ilícitas y Uso de documento público falso. Bogotá: Tribunal Superior de Distrito Judicial, Sala Penal (Judges Martha Lucía Tamayo Vélez, Jorge Enrique Torres Romero, Juan Iván Almaza Latorre), 16 December 2004, 144 pp.

- Colombia Libre - Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). Available online <>, accessed 18 January 2005.

- Email interviews with Johanna Cortés Conde (20 September 2005), Caitríona Ruane (21 October 2005), and Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Perez (19 January 2006). Telephone conversation with a spokesperson for the Colombian Embassy in London (18 January 2005).

- Freedom Institute, The Colombia Three. Last updated 9 August 2005. Available online <>, accessed 5 January 2005.

- Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP). Available online <>, accessed 18 January 2005.

- Online news services BBC News, BBC Mundo, Colombia Journal, El Espectador, El Tiempo, The Express News, The Irish Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times,, The Sunday Business Post, The Guardian, from August 2001 to January 2006.

- Departamento Nacional de Planeación - República de Colombia, Balance del Plan Colombia (17 September 2003). Available online <>, accessed 30 January 2006.

- Ruane, Caitríona (ed.), Colombia: Judge for Yourself (Dublin: Bring Them Home Campaign, 2003). Available online <>, accessed 5 January 2005.

- US Navy NPS, Terrorist Group Profiles. Last updated 11 May 2005. Available online <>, accessed 9 January 2005.



[1] FARC-EP website.

[2] Holmes, Jennifer S. and Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, 'The Illegal Drug Industry. Violence and the Colombian Economy: A Department Level Analysis' in Bulletin of Latin American Research, 25:1 (January 2006), pp. 104-118.

[3] In Colombian Spanish, 'Los tres monos' translates as 'The three blondes' (without gender connotations).

[4] The account of the arrest and trial was taken from the Appeals Court sentence of 16 December 2004. Page numbers of the sentence are indicated between brackets.

[5] Referring to intelligence in his possession, the Irish Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, divulged that the IRA was to be paid between €20 million and €30 million by FARC for this service. The money had been raised by FARC through the organisation’s dealings in the global cocaine trade (The Irish Times, 23 January 2006).

[6] The Guildford Four (Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Patrick Armstrong and Carole Richardson) were wrongly convicted in the United Kingdom in October 1975 of the Provisional IRA's Guildford pub bombing which killed five and injured sixty-five people. They served over fifteen years in prison.

[7] Alejandra Gonzalez's account of the Colombian presence in Ireland is very interesting. The largest group of Colombians is located in Dublin, and she estimates the total number at about 300.  Twice a year, Colombian gatherings are organised in Dublin, generally around Christmas and for Colombian Independence Day (July 20th). Also, there is a Colombian Catholic priest in Dublin who says mass in Spanish, and this is well attended by the Colombian community. There are several Colombian women married to Irish men, along with Colombian engineers working in the information technology industry. Gonzalez considers Irish society to be more open than that of Colombia in terms of class, race, religion and sexual orientation, but she complains about the misty, grey and rainy weather of the west of Ireland.

[8] The embassy of Colombia in London is responsible for diplomatic relations with the UK and Ireland.

[9] Two observers described the affair using the loaded appellation 'The Colombia Three', including Niall Andrews, Irish Member of the European Parliament ('the trial of the Colombia Three'), and Des Bonass, Executive of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions ('visit of Columbia [sic] Three') (Ruane 2003: 19, 32).

[10] However, the media also reported on the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on violations of human rights in Colombia, particularly the case of Fr. Brendan Forde and his community of La Unión (7 September 2000). This is but one example of official criticism from a governmental body regarding the action of paramilitary groups. In the session of 18 October 2000 of Dáil Éireann (the Irish lower house of parliament), the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen was questioned on this same issue (Vol. 524).

[11] Vargas Llosa, Mario, 'De la mano de la "izquierda boba". Asoma en la región un nuevo racismo: indios contra blancos' in La Nación (Buenos Aires), 20 January 2006.

[12] Todorov, Tzvetan, Mémoire du mal, tentation du bien: Enquête sur le siècle (Paris: Éditions Robert Laffont, 2000).

[13] It is the men not the priests who grow the orange trees. Renaud Séchan, La ballade Nord-Irlandaise in 'Marchand de caillaux' (1991).


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5



Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2006

Online published: 1 March 2006
Edited: 07 May 2009

Murray, Edmundo, '
Explosive Journey: Perceptions of Latin America in the FARC-IRA Affair (2001-2005)' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" 2006. Available online (, accessed .


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies

 Copyright Information