Posted on January 11, 2017 7:40 am
Tags:
Categories: Transitions

FARC’s Timochenko Discusses the Past, Present, and Future (S)

Argentine magazine Revista Crisis publishes a lengthy interview with FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, better known as Timochenko. He provides some biographical information, discusses how the guerrilla got involved in the drug traffic, and shares some insights on the process that ultimately led his guerrilla force to the negotiating table. Mr. Timochenko insists that once FARC lays down their weapons, their cadre will engage in legal political activity, although they will not be participating in the 2018 presidential election.

He said that despite the hard blows FARC suffered during the government of Alvaro Uribe — a period in which president Juan Manuel Santos served as Minister of Defense — FARC remained a military force to be reckoned with.

“They hit us hard — referring to the Uribe administration without mentioning it — but they never destroyed us, and our backbone remained intact. Then came the Santos government which put forward a political alternative. They sent us a message that we found to be fine. We don’t want war, we seek a political solution, so we accepted. […] Timochenko insists that Santos did not find a defeated guerrilla. FARC had their own set of conditions for laying down their weapons are were very far from an unconditional surrender.

“It took two almost consecutive rounds of negotiations, interrupted only by a referendum that FARC opposed and in which the opposition to the agreement prevailed. He says that they knew the results would be a bad one. […] Information was limited on the agreement’s content and disinformation was spread by the sectors that opposed the peace. They gather those who benefit from the business of war, those accumulating land, the paramilitary and those who fear the participation on FARC in the democratic political arena. “No guerrilla can exists without mass support”

Full interview in Spanish