BOGOTA – The number two FARC leader, alias “Ivan Marquez,” admitted that the guerrilla group must overcome the bad name it has been given to be successful in carrying out the transformation into a political party that it began this Sunday at a conference for that purpose.
“About the party’s character, we hope to touch the hearts of the people, a complex undertaking that includes overcoming our stigmatization,” Marquez told the FARC conference that began Sunday and will wrap up next Sept. 1.
In a long, dogmatic speech, he said that with the FARC’s “disappearance as a guerrilla group,” it will become a new force in the political arena.
Marquez also noted the importance of caring for the needs of the former combatants since “the future of our political project largely depends on those who made up that (guerrilla) community.”
As for the future of the party, he said it must maintain its “revolutionary” character with the will to resolve the daily problems of Colombian citizens, but must also work on “the transformation of the social order.”
The FARC conference will end when the participants reach conclusions that will include a new name for the party, its ideological program and its list of candidates for seats in the legislature, among others.
Marquez already said days ago that the party’s name will be the Fuerzas Alternativas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Alternative Revolutionary Forces of Colombia) so that its initials will still be FARC.
However, its top leader, Rodrigo Londońo, alias “Timochenko,” posted a questionnaire on Twitter to gather suggestions for the best name for a party, which is now known to have candidates for the legislature but not for the presidency.