FARC political leader, Rodrigo Londoño – known by his nom de guerre ‘Timochenko” – made a plea to save the peace process in Colombia in its early stages. FARC believe in reconciliation, but must create the environment for it to be a reality.
At a press conference held in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, the presidential candidate for the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común (Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, FARC) party, stressed that on the long and bumpy road towards peace, no moment has been so difficult and complicated as the one that we are now living.
Timochenko said that he has always been an optimistic man, no matter how great the obstacles. However, faced with the current circumstances, he feels betrayed by his own good faith.
He remarked that in light of the current situation summed up by FARC’s lack of guarantees in its electoral campaign, what is most at stake is the peace process itself.
For this reason, he made a warning call to the international community and to all the driving forces of Colombia, to save the peace process.
He said that there are very powerful forces in the country that have openly announced their commitment to shattering the peace agreements made with Juan Manuel Santos’s government in Havana.
He also stated, that as long as the leading party asks him to do so, he will remain a presidential candidate.
On the issue of election campaign violence, Timochenko reiterated the call for a pact of tolerance and respect among all the country’s political forces.
The president of the political movement, who emerged from the former guerrilla Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army), regretted the misrepresentation and the stigmatised treatment given to FARC in the media.
Timochenko stated, “We are asking for objectivity, for common sense. They continue to treat us as though we are still taking up arms, when we are a political movement that has emerged from Congress, with a directive of peace and reconciliation”.
He claimed that to be able to advance on the road to peace, mediatory tools are needed to help with reconciliation without stirring up expressions of hatred. He also announced the existence of a financial blockade against FARC, and added that, “Despite repeated promises, and they are not dispersing funds for political campaigns or the operation of the party”. (PL)
(Translated by Natalie Clark – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)