Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC sent out a statement Sunday in which it paid tribute to “Alfonso Cano,” the guerrillas’ recently killed leader, and reiterated its refusal to surrender while “persisting in the search for a political solution.”
The press release, published on the guerrillas’ website and signed by the FARC’s secretariat, said that “the tears of happiness of President [Juan Manuel} Santos reveal that because of his labor a great man, a wonderful man and a historic revolutionary was killed.”
The rebels praised their slain leader’s “profound analytic skills,” “enviable political and ideological coherence” and “military capability”, and their rejection of “capitalist globalization” and the “terrorist nature of its free-market democracy.”
Despite the guerrillas’ refusal to lay down their arms, the FARC says it’s “committed to seeking a political solution to achieve a democratic peace with dignity and social justice,” explaining that “the voice of students, workers, peasants, indigenous and black communities, the unemployed, pensioners, women and the burdened middle class must be heard.”
The FARC, born as a Marxist peasant movement in 1964, has been fighting the Colombian state since they were founded and is Latin America’s largest and oldest insurgency group. Cano, who had been leading the group since the death of founder “Manuel Marulanda” in 2008, was killed by army forces earlier this month.