The leader of Colombia’s largest rebel group, FARC, said Monday the guerrillas were willing to engage in peace talks with the government, “in front of the country.”
In a press release published on the Marxist guerrilla group’s website, FARC leader “Timochenko” said, “We are interested in trying a hypothetical negotiation table. In front of the country. Questioning the privatizations, the deregulation, the absolute freedom of trade and investment, the environmental degradation, market democracy, the military doctrine.”
According to the rebel leader, the Colombian government has been distorting the truth and using the war against the rebels to “guarantee even more prosperity for the prosperous and plunge the poor into an indescribable destiny.”
The FARC leader said the rebels “refuse to accept the imposition of absolute truths” and want to “proclaim our truth.”
“This conflict will not be solved until our voices are heard. Without lies, Santos, without lies,” said Timochenko.
Timochenko said he wants the “active participation of those affected” and to “resume the agenda that was left hanging in El Caguan,” where the rebels and government held peace talks between 1999 and 2002. These peace talks were promoted by Santos, who was the then-president Andres Pastrana‘s finance minister.
The president has so far dismissed talks with the FARC, demanding that the guerrilla group release hostages held in the jungle and cease terrorist activity before negotiations will be considered.
The FARC has been fighting the Colombian state since the rebel group’s foundation in 1964.