Transcripts of conversations between the highest leaders of Colombia’s oldest and largest rebel group, the FARC were revealed by Colombian media Friday after being acquired by the Armed Forces of Colombia.
The transcripts reveal dialogues between the FARC’s peace delegation in Havana, Cuba and the guerrilla group’s highest military commander Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry, alias “Timochenko.”
Colombia’s military intelligence was able to access the conversations after breaking through their encrypted codes protecting their communication mediums. Colombia’s Blu Radio station gained access to the transcripts and highlighted some of the most interesting connections between the conversations that date back to fall 2013, and events that then happened in Colombia.
Spying on peace delegations, pro-peace politicians and journalists in touch with the delegations all claim to have been wiretapped by the military, which forced the dismissal of four top military commanders.
The military intelligence documents released by Blu is the first evidence of army spying on the FARC delegation in Cuba.
For example, in a conversation on October 4, 2013, Timochenko acknowledged that certain guerrillas were responsible for shutting down electrical towers in the “south of the country” and kidnapping two people in the same zone.
Tumaco, a city in the southern state of Narino, was left without water and power for nearly a month because of an alleged early October FARC attack.
Another conversation on the fifth of October revealed chief FARC negotiator, Luciano Marin Arango alias “Ivan Marquez,” saying that high members of the guerrilla organization will not spend “even one day in jail,” and that such an arrangement would be “unacceptable,” according to Blu Radio.
This is surely to be a contentious point moving forward in the peace talks as a number of courts have already sentenced leaders such as Marquez and Timochenko to multiple decades in prison.
Also according to Blu Radio, the transcripts revealed that Timochenko had given the order to commit more acts of violence to pressure Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos to support a constituent assembly — an assembly to construct a new or dramatically amend the current constitution — which the FARC has been asking for repeatedly in the case of a peace agreement.
Colombia’s congress passed a vote last fall to have an eventual peace deal voted into law by a referendum –an arrangement the FARC does not support.
Timochenko also gave instructions for the FARC to participate or insert themselves in un-specified political marches and protests in October. On the twelfth of that month, the Patriotic March (Marcha Patriotica–MP) political party had a demonstration, pointed out Blu Radio. The guerrilla leader insisted in later conversations that the FARC have a presence in marches carried out by the MP.
Timochenko was quoted saying that “in no moment are we saying that we will put down our arms.” Demobilization is one of the six agenda items yet to be discussed in the ongoing peace talks with the government.
The conversations are currently in the possession of the Prosecutor General’s office and the Ministry of Defense.
- Blu Radio revela las conversaciones privadas de las Farc en Cuba (Blu Radio)
- Revelan conversaciones entre ‘Timochenko’ y negociadores de las Farc (El Espectador)