Alfonso Cano, a hero of our time

Workers World publishes this Nov. 4 communique from the Secretariat of the General Staff of the FARC-EP, the revolutionary guerrilla organization in the mountains of Colombia.

Three years ago today, our Commander Alfonso Cano was assassinated in the mountains of Cauca, in a cowardly action by the Colombian Army under the direct guidance of President Juan Manuel Santos. Three years have now passed in which the fighters of the FARC-EP miss his firm step, his illuminating, reflective thought and his commanding voice. But they are also three years of reaffirmation of our commitment to the Bolivarian ideals that Commander Alfonso fought for to the end.

Those who ordered his execution deeply miscalculated when they imagined that the assassination of our commander would cause a period of demoralization in the guerrilla ranks. They forgot that the perfidy of this crime is an additional reason to continue the struggle and to give our lives in combat for the transformation Colombia needs.

Alfonso Cano left us a vital, proven commitment to revolution. He was willing to sacrifice his youth and a lifetime of comfort and personal accomplishments to surrender body and soul to the task bequeathed to us by Manuel Marulanda Vélez and Jacobo Arenas: building the FARC-EP to meet the highest aspirations of the Colombian people.

Alfonso was able to perform this task with flying colors. In his training as a guerrilla, in his life in the camps, in his work and his leadership as a military commander and political leader, he always exemplified the best and highest intellectual, ethical and political qualities. He also left an indelible imprint of firmness, consequence and revolutionary dedication on the FARC.

Today we remember our comrade with nostalgia, but we feel his burning example in our minds and in our insurgent hearts every day, as we work to live up to the commitment and invincible dimension of the authentic revolutionary.

To mark the third anniversary of the assassination of our commander, we appeal to all the Colombian people to persevere in the battle to realize the ideals for which he gave his life: the struggle for revolutionary change in Colombian society, building together an alternative that will lead to the establishment of social justice, true democracy, freedom and sovereignty in our homeland.

And to the guerrillas, who will keep the flag aloft, honor his memory, strengthen our cohesion and keep moving forward in the victorious march to achieve a New Colombia.

Translation by WW contributing editor Greg Butterfield. Original at