Dear FARC, please don’t over-react!

In a few months, I might walk through the Colombian jungle. Besides snakes, alligators and mosquitoes, the other danger lurks from the rebel group FARC, who have a tendency to over-react when they encounter foreigners in territory that they control or fight over.

Swedish traveler Jan Philip Braunisch was kidnapped in 2013 and later killed. FARC suspected him of being a spy because he had a GPS and detailed maps with him.

Braunisch FARC

These FARC guys must be some couch potatoes if they don’t know that it’s completely normal for any hiker to take maps and a GPS device when crossing a few hundred miles of mountainous jungle.

They are also a bit out of touch with modern technology. If anyone wanted to spy on rebel camps in the jungle, they would fly a drone over the suspected sites.

Unfortunately, I may also carry maps and a GPS with me, and I have often been suspected of being a spy before. Therefore, I am posting this article as a kind of insurance policy. When I will get captured, I will ask one of the FARC guys to go to the nearest internet café, go on my blog and search for this article. And then I hope that my logic works like this:

  • If I was really a spy, I wouldn’t announce my visit beforehand, right?
  • Also, you will probably notice that I don’t speak Spanish very well. Surely, someone more qualified could have been found.
  • If I really was a spy, I wouldn’t write spy stories or post pictures of me with heavy weapons and thus draw unwanted attention to me.
  • Lastly, if I was really a spy, I would travel under a completely different name and you wouldn’t be reading this.

So, please, don’t kidnap or murder me. Or if you have already kidnapped me and are reading this, let’s chill out, have some cigars and then you let me walk on. After all, there are peace negotiations happening right now, aren’t there?

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Colombia, Military, Politics, Terrorism, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Dear FARC, please don’t over-react!

  1. David says:

    Somehow I doubt FARC will be impressed with your logic…

    • They are a large enough organisation to have at least one guy who knows something about logic. Don’t all these rebel groups have philosophy graduates in their ranks?

  2. Insurgents and rebels throughout the world don’t like GPS for obvious reasons. As can be read in the very good book “The world’s most dangerous places” by Robert Young Pelton. If moving through rebel territory use a compass. Sweden does manufacture very good ones by the way (

    • What’s the point of a compass in a huge forest without any points of orientation? If I want to know where north and south are, I look at the sun, but (like a compass), it doesn’t help me to determine my location.

  3. cecilia says:

    I will die and i wont understand this kind rebels. I dont understand a cause that for be defended needs make others crimes so terribles. They dont need any logic, even you if you there. If in my all ignorance, could give a tips..avoid jungles there, at least. If you want go to jungle, Amazônia is a good option ;) take care

    • I agree with you on the first point. Particularly in recent years, they seem to have become a criminal organisation more and more obviously. But then, the Colombian government’s killing of hundreds of innocent people did not help either.

  4. cecilia says:

    But this idea about to be a spy is so excited, dont you think? ;))

  5. erikathaissa says:

    I am your fan. If you were a spy, we could make a deal…

  6. Dino Bragoli says:

    A reverse psych backup is always a good idea but only as a last resort. Get yourself a dog collar and a black shirt, make the sign of the cross a few times whilst holding a Bible. Approaching them and asking if they ‘Have time for Jesus in their heart’ will get you waved through most Guard Posts or check points in double quick time.

  7. Pingback: The Darien Gap has been closed | The Happy Hermit

  8. Aleqzia Braunisch Cosmus says:


    I Googles my brothers name, Jan Philip Braunisch (he mostly went as Philip internatinal but is really called Janne). As I sometimes do. Came across a blog post of yours and tried to comment like “how did it go”, but I don’t think the comment was posted.

    Nice to see another smart guy with an appetite for travel (and learning, I am sure).

    But sorry. I have a very tired week so I have not really read your blog. Although I saw something about a place in Germany. And now I want to go. Maybe I’ve been there as a kid. Not sure (our family is from Germany. My brother and I were the first born here. My mother is still around. My dad passed a couple years before my brother. We used to visit Germany often).

    Janne once had a blog. From when he went to the African continent by himself for a couple months. Sadly it is no longer online, since he had it at an at home build server in my mothers closet.

    But Jannes wife had the posts, maybe not all but most, saved and e mailed them to me the other year. I am thinking about putting in on a blog type website or so. If maybe anyone is interested. Have not descided.

    Are you interested in reading the journal from the Africa trip? Let me know.

    /Aleqzia Braunisch Cosmus

    • Thanks!

      For me, Colombia went absolutely fine.
      I only was in Bogotá, then a few weeks in a beautiful valley north of Bogotá, and finally in Cartagena.

      It felt absolutely safe everywhere, even in the parts of Bogotá where people told me not to go.
      At the time I was there (2017), there was a very optimistic mood regarding the peace process. It was noticeable how tired people were of the civil war and the violence, and how people were looking forward.

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