The FARC confirmed the death of their leader “Alfonso Cano” and rejected government calls to demobilize without “the abolition of the causes that gave birth to the uprising” in a press statement published Saturday on the website of rebel-friendly news agency Anncol.
According to the statement signed by the FARC’s secretariat, the death of Cano confirms “the immortal resistance of the Colombian people who would rather die than live on their knees, begging.”
“It is not the first time the oppressed and exploited of Colombia mourn for one of their great leaders,” the statement said. “It also isn’t the first time that he will be replaced with the courage and absolute conviction of victory.”
“Peace in Colombia will not be born from any guerrilla demobilization, but the abolition of the causes that gave birth to the uprising. There is a political line which will be continued,” the rebel leadership added.
The FARC, the oldest and biggest insurgency active in Latin America, has lost five of their most prominent leaders in the past four years and have lost the control over a large part of Colombian territory in the past ten years because of a U.S.-backed government offensive. Despite ongoing military setbacks and a shrinking army of fighters, the group insists on government concessions before considering laying down its weapons.