Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC on Friday welcomed the election of Dilma Rousseff as president of Brazil, saying it trusts the Brazilian president-elect to promote peace.
In a press release published on the website of FARC-friendly news agency Anncol, the FARC say the group shares the “justified joy of the great people” of Brazil over the election of “President Dima.”
Because of “her public awareness of the need for a political solution to the internal conflict in Colombia, our hope for the possibility of achieving peace through dialogue and social justice has increased a hundredfold,” the guerrilla’s Secretariat wrote.
“We are confident that the new president of Brazil will play a key role in the acclimatization of regional peace and the brotherhood of the peoples of the continent,” the FARC leadership added.
The congratulations come after pre-election statements by Rousseff that she supports Colombia’s stance on fighting leftist guerrilla groups like the FARC and ELN, and would not intervene in peace talks unless Colombia asks for Brazilian support.
“We don’t have reason to participate [in a possible dialogue] unless there is some sort of request from Colombia, because the FARC is not a Brazilian problem,” said the politician after meeting with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos.
The Colombian government refuses to talk to the guerrillas unless they abandon “acts of terrorism.” The guerrillas refuse to cease any of their activities and demand immediate peace talks.
The FARC has been violently opposing the Colombian state since 1964. Colombia, the United States and the European Union consider the FARC a terorrist group over the guerrillas’ kidnapping and extortion practices, attacks on civilian targets, drug trafficking, recruitment of children and use of anti-personnel mines.