In a July 18 statement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) expressed great appreciation for the European Union’s role in the now-interrupted peace process between the FARC and the Colombian government, as well as profound regret that the EU has now excluded itself from the process through its recent listing of the FARC as a “terrorist” organization.
The FARC noted that the 15 EU countries had “contributed enthusiastically” to the peace process of dialogue and negotiation that took place with the government of President Andres Pastrana, as friends and facilitators of the peace process among Colombians.
[In February, those talks were unilaterally broken off by the Colombian government, which then invaded the FARC’s demilitarized zone in the middle of the country.]
The statement called it “tragic” that the EU nations have decided to unilaterally exclude themselves from participating in future peace talks “by aligning themselves in favor of one of the sides – in this case, that of the government.
“No doubt they are doing so in obedience to strong pressures from the governments of the United States and Colombia,” the FARC said. “But nevertheless, the FARC-EP hope that in future, as a result of the favorable political, economic and cultural changes that must take place in the world, you will again be able to take an active part in the process of reconciliation with the endorsement of both parties.”
The FARC also expressed its gratitude for the contributions made by the governments and peoples of the European Union through the peace process itself and through their hospitality to visiting FARC delegations.
In conclusion, the FARC reaffirmed their “revolutionary convictions and principles” and their intent to win political power “to govern Colombia, committed to the poor for the building of a nation where prevails the protection of the basic rights and freedoms, social justice, independence and sovereignty of the more than 30 million of our compatriots, dispossessed and marginalized by the selfish interests of a handful of families belonging to the present ruling caste.”