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timo.jpgRSS Timoleón Jiménez

Timoleón Jiménez is the head of the National Secretariat of the FARC-EP and its Central High Command 
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00

So much rhetoric is harmful, Santos

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President Santos responded calculating every word when he referred to the offer of cooperation made by President Mujica in New York. In spite of expressing his gratitude for the proposal to use the Uruguayan territory as a possible site for the peace talks, the Colombian president chose not to advance anything on dialogues with the guerrilla of the ELN. In these situations you have to be very cautious. Decisions are made by mutual agreement, he said.

 You would believe that this last sentence should also inspire the dialogues with the FARC. The decisions, the agreements, must be the product of consensus. You can't intend to sit at a conversation table and only pay attention to what one of the parties proposes. If, as has been repeatedly preached by Santos, you are talking with the enemy, if peace is about building bridges between opposites, then the models for economy and democracy, true causes of the social and armed confrontation, must necessarily be modified.

President Santos' most recent statements point out, with a serious and irresponsible bias, that the Colombian armed conflict, the war, the one that he has called "dead mule" or "cow on the road", is attributable exclusively to the insurgency. According to him, State terrorism, extrajudicial killings, paramilitaries, displacement and other horrors, are only attributable to us. North-American interests, the Colombian oligarchy, their armed forces, their violent and anti-popular policies, corruption and repression are completely oblivious and innocent.

While it is true that several generations of Colombians haven't experienced a single day of peace, it shouldn't be overlooked that the worst part has always corresponded to the poorest sectors, the vast majority, and not to the rich families that for more than a century have ruled the country to the benefit of minority sectors. That fact that Santos or his son have served in the military, in the Navy or Army, doesn't mean you can equate them with the humble Colombians who risk their lives on the battlefield. The odious class distinctions and perverse privileges won't disappear with touching phrases.

The excluding two-party system, the savage violence that took root from the first part of the last century, fueled by families such as the Santos, according to his recent, spontaneous revelations, the brutal land redistribution which lasts until the beginning of this century, economic policies always designed to favor bankers, businessmen, landowners and foreign companies at the cost of degradation of the lives of workers and peasants, the growing militarization, criminalization of social struggle, police vandalism, the conjunction of corruption, drug trafficking and paramilitarism, the extermination of the Patriotic Union and the cream of the labor, peasant and popular movement, the dirty war, the crimes committed by the armed forces in the name of counter-insurgency, wild capitalism unleashed in the country with the implementation of neoliberal policies; According to the ruling oligarchy none of those events have anything to do with the armed conflict in the country. So all that is needed to finish it is our goodwill.

What the FARC have said, since the beginning of the approximations with the current government, is that to put an end to the conflict it is necessary to remove all those real causes of the confrontation. After a long process called Exploratory Meeting, we signed a General Agreement with the government that everybody knows. When we did that, the two sides agreed that the development of the agenda items would be fulfilled in the spirit of the various considerations of its preamble. However, our delegates always encounter the government's attitude of considering that the Agreement only applies to the items of the Agenda; apart from this, they insist in restricting it to such an extent that only what they bring to the Table is worth to be taken into consideration.

Besides, and our spokespeople have already explained it thoroughly, the national government insists on unilateral impositions. They have their legal framework for peace, a model of transitional justice they designed without asking our opinion, which also has been promoted by President Santos in the United Nations, the only formula he considers valid for the items on victims and political participation . He already has his referendum law to endorse the final agreements. He claims that once the guerrillas are demobilized, we should pass to the other side and join the state policy to eradicate illicit crops, because that is what he decided before the issue has been addressed in the respective forums and at the Table. The whole responsibility for the conflict must be assumed by us, too.

And besides this, he pressures with his story about the Colombians who are running out of time and patience. Protests, marches and the recent strikes show that that may be true, but not in the way the President means to. His so-called National Pact for the Agro was just another of his false positives. Problems, discontent and rebellion are still alive. What is actually shortening, is the time to define his candidacy for re-election, and it's evident he is eager to exhibit a peace agreement to the country. But not even for this purpose he assumes a position that facilitates coordination. We are the ones who have to make concessions and sign as soon as possible what he wants us to. He calls us terrorists again, he boasts of having spilled our blood like no one else in the last fifty years and he exhibits in each hand the head of a member of the Secretariat.

So things, every gesture of reconciliation from our side means weakness. We have swallowed the death of our comrade Alfonso Cano, we have accepted the two envies sent to the first meeting when they were not the ones that were officially designated, but even our sincere desire to sign a peace with dignity and justice is interpreted as the result of military defeat. And what about the proposed bilateral cease fire. And of each of the proposals at the Table. Still now, three years after the fiasco of his Sword of Honor and his Democratic Prosperity, and despite his expressions of finding a political, Santos, hallucinating, believes he can yield us with grunts. We're too old for that. The key lies in consensus, in changing for the better that attitude of arrogance and pettiness.

While that happens, regarding such a great discursive and media offensive against us and what happens at the Table, with the sole purpose of letting the country and the world know what is really happening, I have decided to allow our spokespeople in Havana to write a report to the Colombian people. We have a great responsibility to them, and so much rhetoric is harmful, Santos.

Timoleón Jiménez

Commander of the Central High Command of the FARC-EP

September 25, 2013.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 02:45