Rodrigo Londoño, Timochenko, president of the FARC and candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, has been visiting his birthplace, La Tebaida, in the heart of Quindío. “Here I was born, - said Timochenko - in a family like many others. Here I have been taught love and justice”.
Timochenko added: “After more than forty years I return to my village, after a long and difficult journey in the guerrilla, and I discover a town transformed in its streets and architecture, but overwhelmed by the same sorrows. It moves me to know that thousands of landless peasants work hard just for food, because unemployment and hopelessness do not give them better opportunities”.
The FARC is contesting its first elections this March (for the Congress) and May (for the Presidency of the Republic). Timochenko is candidate to the Presidency, while Imelda Daza runs as his vice-president.
Ivan Marquez is heading the list of candidates to the Senate and Byron Yepes (Jairo Gonzalez) the one to the Chamber.
In La Tebaida, Rodrigo Londoño was welcomed very warmly by his old fellow citizens. He spoke to the people and said: “My presence here is intended to bring a message of hope. That bitter Colombia in which the fatherland of our grandparents have been transformed, has to be redesigned with the effort of all citizens. There is really an alternative, a party, ours, born of the struggles of a persecuted people that resisted the violence of the State for half a century”.
Timochenko closed his remarks with these words: “Our party, the FARC, is a peace party, a party that longs for social justice, a party that is willing to gamble for the raising of the standard of living of the poorest and most abandoned in Colombia, a party that rejects violence, a party that fights because the most humble and excluded can make politics without being killed, persecuted or imprisoned”.