The FARC‘s top commander said that his organization is “not divided” when it comes to continuing peace talks with the Colombian government.
“There is not a single declaration from “Joaquin Gomez” or “Fabian Ramirez” expressing some discrepancy with the rest of the FARC’s Higher Central Command,” said the 54-year-old rebel leader.
Joaquin Gomez is a member of the FARC’s seven-man ruling body known as the Secretariat and Fabian Ramirez is an operational commander of the group’s vitally important Southern Bloc. Both have been absent from the negotiation table in Havana, Cuba which has led to rumors of a potential riff in the rebels’ ranks.
Voz del Pueblo did not indicate when exactly the interview was conducted, but assured readers that the FARC commander was “in the mountains of Colombia” and has been routinely “notified in detail” about the peace talks.
Though President Juan Manuel Santos and other government officials have said time and time again that the country’s socioeconomic model is not up for debate, Timochenko still believes that the government’s hardline stances regarding topics of discussion and a timeline for the negotiations is tenuous.
“We think the position [of the government] is subject to change during the course of the conversations…it is a table of dialogue. We [the FARC] can demand…the total extinction of large-scale [privately owned] rural property, which continues to be part of our goals, but we know that in this way we would not arrive anywhere,” said the guerrilla leader.
The FARC commander also critizized the government of Juan Manuel Santos for setting a deadline for a peace accord.
“It could take a few months or a few years,” said the FARC commander.
Timochenko assumed control over the largest insurgency group in the country in November of 2011 after his predecessor, “Alfonso Cano”, was killed by the Colombian army in the southwestern department of Cauca.
The FARC Secretariat said at the time that the nomination of Jimenez “guaranteed the taking of power by the people.”