Colombian election ‘an extraordinary event’
Translated by M. Rafael and Daniela Ochoa-Bravo
The statement below was issued June 22 by the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army) Segunda Marquetalia on the election of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez, candidates of the Pacto Historico, as the first leftist president and vice president of Colombia.
The FARC was founded in 1964 and waged a guerrilla insurgency against the right-wing, pro-imperialist Colombian government until signing a comprehensive peace agreement with the government in 2016.
After the 2016 peace agreements, the majority of the FARC units demobilized and formed a political party now known as “Comunes,” which supported Pacto Historico. Since the failure of the state to fully implement its side of the agreement, two major blocs of dissidents have taken up arms against the state: the FARC-EP Segunda Marquetalia, led by alias Iván Marquez, and the bloc formerly led by alias Gentil Duarte until his death in May of 2022.
The tides of change are unstoppable.
And they must be until the community of “nobodies” — the excluded — are able to touch human dignity with their calloused, working hands.
On June 19, an extraordinary event occurred that will forever leave its mark on the history of Colombia: A legacy of over 200 years of relentless oligarchical governance finally came to end. A governance that never once felt love for the people and, instead, chose to maintain a heart of stone. But the people also have a right to govern.
“The politics of love and the government of hope are here,” announced President Petro from his victory stage, alongside Francia, the first Black vice president of Colombia. “Real, genuine change is coming. And it’s not a triumph of vengeance or hate . . .” Only a heart that’s dominated by its unwavering love for humanity, and a drive to help turn Colombia into a great humanitarian power, could produce such a statement.
“Without life, neither hope nor peace would have reason. Peace, alongside social and environmental justice, are our central objectives,” said the president-elect. And he is, of course, correct to think so. Because peace is the paramount of our rights, and it’s only when we have it that we can guarantee life. Without peace, all of our other rights would be rendered worthless, because we would be dead.
Let us give this our all, as we — with our bodies and souls — collectively work toward reaching indisputable peace in Colombia. For the war to end, we must have discourse. The most legitimate mechanism to launch a new era of peace and a new country will be constituted by the Great National Agreement, the social movements that have fought with dignity, the binding regional talks and the public discourses that invite the opinion of all — the unseen, the unheard and the forgotten.
Let us all meet at the front lines of the struggles for social justice, for the plurality of conscience — as Petro says — and for solidarity between peoples of variously colored skin and variously colored flags. Let us continue onward for agrarian justice and land for the peasantry, for a productive and decarbonized economy, new technologies and for a country with clean energy and environmental justice.
We support the government of life and hope that is being born before our eyes like a new dawn — a government that is disposed to return us to peace and dignity, as well as to defend the world from climate change with the shield of the Amazon rainforest. This must be expanded by uniting forces between the Amazonian countries of Our America in order to absorb carbon and return it to the world as oxygen.
It is a wise decision from the new government to promote more active integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. For let us not forget that Monroeism is still alive and conspiring against our unity, in order to dominate us without our resistance.
Let us protect Petro and Francia to assure that nothing happens to them and that they have a long life that allows them to bring about the Colombia of the future.
We call upon the force of the public to support and obey the president-elect, who, under constitutional disposition, is our supreme commander. Let us unite with the humane tide for life and peace.
A new institution will come that is more connected to the needs of the people, justice and human rights. For much too long the people have been yearning for this moment and to be embraced by the politics of love and life.