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The ex-FARC leader admits to “hate” what his organization was

(Bogota) Rodrigo Londoño, the former FARC guerrilla leader who signed the peace accord in Colombia, said Tuesday he had come to “hate” his organization for atrocities committed during five decades of the conflict.

Posted on Sep 15, 2020 at 8:22 pm

France Media Agency

The leader of the most powerful guerrillas in the Americas reiterated Monday’s call for a public apology for the more than 20,000 kidnappings by the organization and the recruitment of minors into its ranks.

“The kidnapping was a very serious mistake that we can only regret,” the leadership of what is now a political party known as the Common Revolutionary Alternative Force said in a statement on Monday.

It has been the strongest demand for forgiveness made by former guerrilla forces of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) since a peace agreement was signed with the Colombian government in 2016.

PHOTO LUISA GONZALEZ, REUTERS ARCHIVE

Rodrigo Londoño, the leader of the former FARC guerrilla, at a press conference held in 2019 at the Special Tribunal for Peace in Bogota.

As I listened to the victims and realized the truth about what happened, “I hate the FARC that I have in front of me and which is nothing like the one I joined,” I said in an interview with Rodrigo Londoño, alias ” Tymoshenko “.

“We do our introspection […] We internalize things, it is difficult when we have defended something for so many years that we believed in it and that we have to say that we were wrong, that it was wrong, ”admitted the to Führer.

The FARC, founded in 1964, recognized that “the kidnappings (…) were wounded to death,” the “legitimacy and credibility” of their armed uprising against the Colombian state, and deplored the “pain” and “pain” humiliations “suffered by the victims were added.

“This burden […] today puts a heavy burden on the conscience and heart of each of us, ”he added in the press release.

“Crime without justification”

The former guerrillas respond for their actions before a special peace tribunal (JEP) created by the peace agreement that enabled the demobilization of around 13,000 FARC rebels, including 7,000 combatants.

The main ex-guerrilla leaders promised to confess their crimes to the JEP and to compensate the victims or their families in exchange for alternative prison terms. If they fail to keep their obligation, they will be brought before ordinary justice.

Tymoshenko said he was “impressed” with “the generosity of the victims” and stressed that Ingrid Betancourt’s poignant testimony during a video conference held in front of the JEP on Monday “influenced” his repentance.

The French-Colombian woman kidnapped by the FARC testified about the six years she had spent in rebellious hands.

“The kidnapping has no expiration date and does not end on the day of release. It is murder because the person who suffers from it, even if they are lucky enough to be released, is already someone else by the time they come out of custody, “said the former presidential candidate. released during a military operation in 2008.

The previous rebellion must also campaign for the recruitment of thousands of children and youth into more than half a century of armed conflict. Rodrigo Londoño admitted that this forced recruitment was “a mistake”.

The official internal armed conflict in Colombia has claimed more than nine million victims (dead, missing and internally displaced), according to official figures.

FARC disarmament made it possible to reduce the intensity of the conflict, but the country continues to face violence from the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last active guerrilla group, and drug traffickers.

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