In the open letter that was published on the guerrillas’ website, “Timochenko” stated that Colombia’s democracy “had been exhausted” and is “an embarrassment.”
The letter was dedicated to Santos and signed “Timoleon Jimenez”, another nom de guerre of the guerrilla groups leader.
Timochenko chose to demonstrate his argument with news stories emanating from Saturday. The guerrilla chief referred to a news story regarding three soldiers sentenced to 32 years in prison for involvement in the extrajudicial killing of civilians, Colombia’s ambassador to the US being a case of land theft and ongoing protests in the Catatumbo region, in which four have died.
The remarks come on the same day in which a first round of talks regarding the FARC’s possible participation in politics. The guerrillas and the government had previously agreed to an agrarian reform that’s one of five points to be agreed upon before successfully ending peace talks.
A spokesmen for the FARC earlier stated that although no “concrete agreements” had been made, the two sides were “approaching positions through discussion.”
The FARC have consistently called for a constituent assembly and a comprehensive reform of the state model. The government however, have rejected these points and called for discussions to be based on the agenda agreed upon at the beginning of the talks.
According to radio station Caracol, the rebel group appeared to have relaxed their demands regarding a constituent assembly, appreciating that there are differing options available.
Timochenko stressed that the talks in Havana are only the beginning of changes needed to achieve a lasting peace.
In his letter to Santos he stated that “there will be a product of secret meetings between government and guerrillas outside” aiming for “profound transformations in Colombian life. Definitely the type of democracy that does not defend the oligarchy of this country any longer.”
The next round of talks is set to resume on July 22nd.
- La democracia colombiana es una vergüenza, Santos (Colombian government / FARC EP)
- ‘Timochenko’ y su idea de democracia (Confidencial Colombia)
- Timochenko’: democracia colombiana es “una vergüenza” (Semana)
- La democracia colombiana es una vergüenza, vamos a cambiarla, Santos: ‘Timochenko’ (Caracol Radio)
- “Timochenko” le envió carta al presidente Santos rechazando la democracia colombiana (El Colombiano)