Timochenko, speaking to some 200 delegates, said the conference “is the most democratic event referred to in our statutes”.
He said: “We are gathered here, after fifty-two continuous years of political and military confrontation with the Colombian government, with the purpose of carrying out our Tenth National Conference, the most democratic event referred to in our Statutes”.
And added: “Unlike our opponents and critics say, we, the FARC-EP, find ourselves far from being an exclusively military organization in nature, governed by the capricious criteria of a body of ambitious managers. If anything has characterized us since our very birth, it is precisely our strictly political nature, based on the broadest democracy, with political, military and cultural guidelines weaved by all of its members since the previous national conferences. These conferences have been in charge of appointing, through a vote of all its participants, to the members of its national leadership and giving them a mandate to carry out the implementation of the lines approved, and to answer for it to the next Conference”.
Timochenko ended his speech by saying that this “Conference is convened with two specific purposes remaining at its sole discussion and definition. The first is the analysis and countersignature of the Final Agreement we have signed, in order to give it a binding, i.e, for it to be mandatory for our guerrillas. And the second purpose is to produce policies and organizational arrangements to allow the beginning of our transition to a political party or movement, including the convening of the Foundation Congress that should define the program, Constitution and Political Leadership”.
Timochenko also said that to hope that “this historic Tenth National Conference, will be characterized as all our events by the widest democracy, the depth of the debates, and the loyal adherence to the political and military line drawn by our founders Manuel Marulanda and Jacobo Arenas”.
The comandante of the FARC-EP declared officially open the X Guerrilla National Conference and underlined that “today girls and children in Colombia have a real chance to grow and be happy in a country at peace”.