Colombia, Sep 23 (EFE).- The FARC rebel group announced Friday that its fighters voted to ratify an agreement with the Colombian government to end 52 years of civil war in the Andean nation.
“We inform you that the guerrilla delegates have given unanimous support to the peace accord,” FARC senior official Ivan Marquez told reporters following the conclusion of a rebel assembly in the village of El Diamante.
FARC to chart its new future at guerrilla conference
The FARC guerrilla group at its 10th National Conference will select this Friday a new High Command that will be responsible for guiding the armed group through its transition to peace, Rodrigo Granda, alias “Ricardo Tellez,” one of its leaders, said.
In the statement that one of the FARC leaders delivers at the start of each day of the conference, Tellez said Friday that the name of the FARC High Command could be changed to something like the FARC National Committee, which would be more in line with the guerrilla group’s new status as a political movement.
During his speech, the guerrilla chief read a long statement requesting the release and better treatment of FARC members still in prison.
He read the speech accompanied by two prisoners who were temporarily released by the government to attend the conference and who go by the aliases of “Alonso Noveno” and “Diana Sanchez,” respectively.
The 10th FARC National Conference ends Friday after seven days of deliberations at El Diamante, a remote location on the llanos between the provinces of Meta and Caqueta.
At the end of the day it is expected that the close to 200 delegates representing all the guerrilla units in the country will unanimously ratify the peace accord signed with the government last Aug. 24. At the same time, they will take the decision to lay down their arms and become a legal political party.
The peace accord will be signed next Monday in Cartagena by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, alias “Timochenko.”
The text of the pact will later be submitted to a popular vote in a referendum to be held next Oct. 2.