The supreme leader of the left-wing guerrilla group FARC, Guillermo Leon Saenz, alias “Alfonso Cano,” released a video Sunday reaffirming the groups “desire” to negotiate peace.
The four minute video was presented at a four day peace convention in Barrancabermeja called “Dialogue is the Path.” The guerrilla leader said, “the FARC-EP want today to reiterate one more time that we believe in a political solution, we believe in dialogue, we believe the viable central slogan of this event, we consider it fair, ‘dialogue is the path'”
Alfonso Cano expressed his disappointment in how the current Colombian administration is handling the armed conflict. “A year ago, in [President Juan Manuel Santos’] inaugural address, he promised to leave behind the hatred that had characterized the previous eight years of the government of Alvaro Uribe. That promise was forgotten,” he said.
Leaders of the FARC also sent a letter to the peace summit, demanding that the government “create the environment” for radical political reform.
Santos has stated the government would be open to start peaceful negotiations if the guerrilla organization showed clear, tangible evidence that it wants to take peace seriously, such as releasing their hostages.
The government recently reported that the Armed Forces nearly killed the FARC leader in a July attack. The military has been closely pursuing the commander for several months. Santos said Alfonso Cano did not die in the attack, “but he will soon.”
Nevertheless, the FARC commander maintained in his video that “peace is, before all and foremost, a conquest and a popular rallying point.”