BOGOTA – Leaders of the now-disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) appeared for the first time on Friday before the truth commission examining the Andean nation’s decades-long internal conflict.
Rodrigo Londoño, better known by the nom de guerre “Timochenko,” said he and his colleagues presented “the historic reasons that guided” the rebels’ actions during the war.
“We assume our responsibilities and we expect the same from the rest of the actors in the conflict,” he wrote on Twitter following the session.
In November 2016, Timochenko, then the FARC’s supreme commander, and President Juan Manuel Santos signed an accord ending the hostilities, which began in 1964.
The FARC subsequently handed in their weapons and demobilized, forming a legal political party.
Timochenko said that FARC leaders wanted to cooperate with the truth commission to show their “commitment to the country and to the victims” of the war.
The commission said that its encounter with the FARC was part of establishing “an agenda that contributes to co-existence” and to ensuring the horrors of the conflict do not recur.
FARC representatives “expressed their vision of the internal armed conflict and effected their individual and collective contribution to the clarification of the truth,” said the commission chair, the Rev. Francisco de Roux, reading from a statement.
The FARC delegation included Sandra Ramirez, widow of FARC founder Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda, who wrote afterward on Twitter that the appearance was “the first step toward the reconstruction of the events that occasioned the armed conflict.”