The FARC‘s former guerrilla leader, “Timochenko,” on Thursday asked Pope Francis for forgiveness for the “tears and pain” inflicted on Colombia by the group during its participation in the armed conflict.
In an open letter to the Catholic Church leader, the FARC leader leader said the pope’s ‘enlightened” words on reconciliation in Colombia “arrived to brighten the darkness that for so long has covered life in the country.”
Timochenko, whose real name is Rodrigo Londoño, subsequently asked for forgiveness.
Your repeated expositions about God’s infinite mercy move me to plead your forgiveness for any tears or pain that we have caused the people of Colombia. We were never inspired by a desire other than to achieve the elusive justice for the excluded and persecuted in our country, except to remedy in some way the inequity and the dispossession suffered by the abandoned.
While leaving the political leadership of the party with Luciano Marin, a.k.a. “Ivan Marquez,” Londoño was named party president at the first political congress organized by the FARC.
On behalf of his group and its members, the former guerrilla leader asked the pope to pray for the success of the peace process that seeks to end of 52 years of armed conflict between the FARC and the state.
I do not know if it would be entirely right to implore you, with the magnificent power of your prayer, to raise your voice and invite all the Colombian people to pray too, so that the enormous effort involved in shaping the conversations, to negotiate for years, to overcome the foolish resistances to any agreement and finally to agree the termination of the conflict and the construction of a stable and lasting peace will not be frustrated. We pray for it.
According to the Marxist leader, the pope’s invitation would already change the future of the people process in the country that has been torn by armed conflict for more than half a century.