Both groups published two press releases on their websites in which leaders “Timochenko” (FARC) and “Gabino” (ELN) said to have met “somewhere in the motherland” with the “purpose of strengthening the advances of the uniting process of the guerrilla and revolutionary movement of our country.”
The FARC additionally published a video in which Timochenko, whose real name is Rodrigo Londoño, read the statements while posing before banners of both guerrilla groups.
According to the rebel leaders, they talked to “finally overcome several incidents that in the past led to contradictions, distances and clashes between the two forces.”
Additionally, Timochenko and Gabino “addressed several issues of strategic importance to the future of the nation.”
The leaders of the FARC and ELN, organizations that have fought a bloody war against the Colombian state and paramilitary groups since 1964, said that “the political solution for the social and armed conflict, which implies the end of the dirty war and aggression against the people, is part of our strategic goal for peace in Colombia.”
To do so, Timochenko and Gabino called for unity among socio-economic classes and minority groups “to politically neutralize militarism and the extreme right who insist on a relentless war.”
According to the rebel leaders, a political solution to Colombia’s almost half-a-century conflict “can not be understood as the simple demobilization and disarmament of the guerrillas without structural changes … but as the road that leads to the solution of the causes that generated the war.”
The ELN joined the FARC in its call for a constituent assembly to change Colombia’s 1991 constitution which the FARC have made one of their key demands in peace talks with the government. The ELN is not taking parts in these talks.