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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 
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:00

With peace we all win, Mr. Uribe

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FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez wrote an answer to Senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez today, inviting him again to talk. Here are some parts of his open letter translated into English:

“If we have learned something during the years of talks with the national government, and dialogue with hundreds of personalities and ordinary people from all over the world, it is that when you dialogue to agree on a civilized solution, it is impossible to impose your own aspirations. It is not about giving up ideas and principles, but to appeal to the wisdom of making mutual concessions in order to achieve the utmost goal, peace.

The war would be meaningless if its goal weren’t the final defeat of the adversary and try to impose your will by force of arms. That has led us to 52 continuous years of bloody confrontation that were insufficient to defeat the Colombian state. Neither the state could defeat us, despite the financial and military support of the United States and the indomitable will to win, exhibited by successive governments, particularly yours.

Then the path of talks to agree a peace without victors or vanquished, can not be all or nothing. We must listen to the reasons of the counterparty and have the talent to understand that in spite of the fact that you don’t agree with the ideas of the speaker, it is necessary to find common ground with him. The opposite means war, and the recognition of its cruelty and uselessness is what has led us to seek peace through dialogue.

We were compelled to accept that the talks were held without cease fires, if not, there wouldn’t be a dialogue table. And we knew well that the State's goal was to force us with bombs and shrapnel to accept a submission. The downside was twofold for us: we put the dead, any military action would be rubbed in our faces, while the authorities and the mainstream press would express their delight each time guerrilleras were being killed.

Still, we went to the table, because we knew that in Colombia there was a massive rejection of the war, because we understood that for the Colombian people, the most supreme good was peace. You know well that to start with, the government dumped the body of Comrade Alfonso Cano at our feet. Hopefully someday you understand the moral force you need to continue talking when this is done to you, when they try to provoke you in such a low manner”.

“We could start reviewing the vocabulary and make it consistent with the actual figures that are available. In my humble opinion, Colombians are tired of your exaggerated words, citizen panic, terrorist territorial control, increased crime, criminal capacity, tyranny, blackmail, impunity”.

“Mr. Uribe, the agreement of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace has been applauded even by the International Criminal Court. It is true that it is impossible to satisfy absolutely everyone, but when the government of the United States, the United Nations Security Council, the Swiss government and countless scholars speak satisfactorily about it, don’t believe that the FARC is so foxy as to be able to fool so many naive people”.

“Why be so afraid of the truth, Mr. Uribe? We will face this and respond. And we know that if we fail to tell the truth, up to 20 years in prison are waiting for us. An equivalent criterion applies to the official armed forces, which could even be stricter because of their legal status. Northern Ireland, South Africa and other reconciliation processes teach us that peace is a superior good, worth all the sacrifices.

The dead and the violence outrage us all. We want to finally put an end to it in our homeland. But let's be objective and not just look for the mote in another's eye. That's why we insist, President. Let’s not only think of the private enterprise, the public interest is more important. With peace we all win, there won’t be any losers”. 

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