Colombia’s FARC rebels have changed their name from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to Revolutionary Alternative Forces of Colombia, keeping the acronym that has been associated with terrorism for decades.
The former guerrillas announced the name of their political party, the Fuerzas Alternativas de Colombia (FARC), on Tuesday at the culmination of their demobilization and disarmament process.
We have been and will continue to be a revolutionary organization. We want to be the voice of the excluded, of those without a voice, those who live in misery, the voice of the honest and good people of Colombia.
The party will be given 10 seats in Congress for two electoral terms before having to compete for electoral support as part of a peace deal with the Colombian government.
The FARC was founded by a group of Marxist peasants from central Colombia after a military attack ordered by the late President Guillermo Leon Valencia on their communist enclave in 1964 after declaring themselves independent from Colombia.
The group subsequently called itself the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and violently combated the state in an armed conflict that lasted 52 years and victimized more than 8 million Colombians.
The FARC signed peace with President Juan Manuel Santos in November last year and have since disarmed in order to be allowed into politics.
The group’s leaders and lower-ranked alleged war criminals are expected to appear before a transitional justice court that is expected to take force later this year.