FARC-EP calls on Colombian society to join the search for peace
SERGIO ALEJANDRO GÓMEZ
THE Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), in Havana on September 4, called for the incorporation of all of Colombian society into the dialogue initiated with the country’s government, directed at ending more than 50 years of political, social and military conflict.
FARC-EP Comandante Mauricio Jaramillo confirmed to the press in Havana’s International Convention Center that, after concluding exploratory talks, negotiations have begun with the government of Juan Manuel Santos, as part of “the arduous and necessary process of building a stable and long lasting peace.”
Jaramillo presented a video statement by the maximum leader of the FARC-EP, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri (alias Timoleón Jiménez, Timochenko), who stated that the process initiated “requires the participation of all Colombians.”
“The key to peace is not in the pocket of the President or the Comandante of the FARC-People’s Army, but in the people,” he affirmed.
Timochenko stated that the guerrilla movement holds the sincere aspiration that there will be no repeat of the past, in reference to failures in dialogues with previous Colombian administrations.
The guerrilla leader added that FARC members are coming to the negotiating table “without resentment or arrogance,” and are seeking a peace founded on reconciliation and understanding, thus eliminating justification for armed confrontation.
Timochenko acknowledged the “unwavering cooperation” of Hugo Chávez and Venezuela, as well as Norway’s “excellent” participation in the exploratory contact which began this past February. He also thanked the Cuban government for “its concern and determination,” without which, “This lengthy task would not have reached such a successful opening.”
In addition to Jaramillo, the press conference was attended by the five other guerrilla leaders who took part in the exploratory contacts with the Colombian government: Marco León Calarcá, Ricardo Téllez, Andrés París, Hermes Aguilar and Sandra Ramírez.