“From our part, sitting down to talk does not point to any type of surrender or delivery,” said the FARC’s leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri alias, “Timonchenko.”
Timonchenko, FARC’s supreme commander since late-2011, added, “the return [of the guerrillas] to civilian life requires a different Colombia.” He pointed out that the country’s internal conflict had caused the “degradation of the lives of the majority” for the “enrichment of a lawless and savage few.”
Timonchenko went on to rail against the power of the “government machine” and its desire to “crush dissent at any cost,” saying that these were “realities that should be addressed and put on the table during any peace dialogues.”
The statement went on to say that if important people “show interest in taking steps towards peace,” the FARC would work towards it. Guerrillas would however remain “very alert” due to bad past experiences, referring to Santos’ calls for peace talks just days after the deadly military attack that killed FARC leader Victor Julio Suarez, alias “Mono Jojoy,” in 2010.
The latest statement came just weeks after the FARC released what were believed to be their last ten military and police hostages and officially committed to the stopping the practice of kidnapping.