FARC-EP: We Will Continue to Overcome Adversity, as We Have Always Done

Gabriel Ángel

Activities at the Transitional Zones where FARC-EP troops are grouped takes place at a very fast pace. And it is surrounded by uncertainties for most of the guerrillas. The main uncertainty has to do with their immediate future. It is natural for people to ask themselves what will happen to their life, where they will live, and how they will sustain themselves.

We must respond to each of these questions, for which we have at hand the Agreements that we have signed with the government, as well as the series of constitutional and legal reforms, decrees, various administrative acts and especially the achievements of the guerrilla movement itself in their daily chores.

Non-compliances with the Peace Agreement are a big problem, they do a lot of damage to the confidence the guerrilla regarding their parth to reincorporation into civilian life. Many claim that the works promised to them in the Transitional Zones have not been realized after six months. The Zones were supposed to be equipped when the guerrillas entered them. Others claim deficiencies in food, health, transportation of patients, safety, etc.

Perhaps the most visible of all non-compliances has been the inexplicable delay in the release of our prisoners of war. Everyone in the FARC is angry about it and we work in one way or another for their release. In the CSIVI [the Follow Up, Promotion and Implementation Commission], the CNR [National Reincorporation Council], in meetings with the high government, in multiple gestures and protest mobilizations, in the international denunciation etc.

At the same time it is up to the FARC commanders who remain in charge of the guerrillas in the diverse Zones and Points, to guide them in all collective matters, the maintenance of order and discipline, education, political work of our party, good development of work, cultural hours, relations with the population of the area etc.

People and public officials come to the camps every day for one purpose or another. United Nations delegates dealing with the extraction of arms caches or the destruction of some hazardous material, the High Commissioner for Peace, health brigades, town Mayors or representatives of public corporations, and countless social organizations committed to peace.

At the same time, all kinds of invitations to forums and events are received. Those in charge of pedagogy of peace are struggling to meet the requests of one and another region, while the requirements to go to municipalities and capitals are growing. There has also been an increase of the invitations to take part in various meetings, doors are opening up everywhere.

The activity is enormous and demands to be developed every day through different fronts. The same happens with those in charge of one or other responsibility throughout the country. We would like to be many more, and better. We must deal with the most important now: the productive projects that are still in the making; to conceive them, to begin to prepare the lands, to cultivate them, to take care of them. A big challenge.

This is what we take care of as a whole in the FARC, with better results in one part than in another. When we have advanced in one aspect we suddenly fall behind in another. It is the dynamics of development. The truth is that stagnation does not exist for us. We have struggled all our life against adversity, and we will continue to do so.

That is why we take care to not adopt extreme positions, often product of despair and lack of a correct analysis of the situation. To say, for example, that nothing of the agreement has been fulfilled is an exaggeration. As it would be to ensure that things go smoothly and without problems. In some fields we are winding up, in others we still do not advance as we hoped.

But the overall examination is clearly favorable. The credibility, recognition, prestige and respect won by our organization and our cadres constitute an invaluable political asset. We are achieving hope to flourish again in an important part of Colombian society. The monster in which they had converted us disappears before the eyes of all.

I am sure that the release of all political prisoners still held in prisons will be a reality in a few days. International and national pressure on the government is unbearable. Especially because what is expected of the Colombian State is elementary, which is for it to comply with its pledged word to the entire world.

The same thing will happen sooner or later with all the points of the Final Agreement. That is why all these calls to rebellion right now are completely without reason. It is not that we don’t put pressure, it is about knowing how to effectively put pressure. The cost to pay to act in the same way as our opponents do would be too high at this point.

Our resistance to the regime continues and will continue until we change it together with the majority. Desperate choices should be discarded.