Colombian Marxists want Pope Francis to negotiate on their behalf a peace deal with the government, according to Colombian media reports.
The FARC — Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — asked Francis to get involved in their talks with the Colombian government because they feel they are being “sabotaged.” FARC’s leader, who goes by the singular name “Timochenko,” stated in the April open letter to the pontiff that he feels the peace process is “threaten[ed].”
The letter comes after Vatican officials announced earlier this year that Francis will visit Colombia in 2017. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the news in a tweet, saying, the country “will receive him with enthusiasm and in peace.”
Timochenko wrote to Francis: “Paramilitary organizations are untying a criminal offensive in our country, aimed at demoralizing the friends of peace, summoning them by force of arms to act against the [peace] process.” FARC’s over 50-year war with the Colombian government has killed 220,000 people.
The Marxist terrorist went on to state that, “Their [paramilitary organizations’] nefarious action coincides with the conspiracy undertaken by political sectors that benefit from the war, stirring people and seeking to mobilize public opinion against the agreements reached.” Timochenko refers in the letter to conservative opposition leaders such as former president and current Senator Alvaro Uribe who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President George W. Bush.
Uribe, who was president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, has reportedly teamed up with the Urabeños paramillitary group to organize opposition to the peace negotiations. Uribe oversaw the expansion of anti-drug trafficking measures through Plan Colombia during his tenure as president.
Plan Colombia was a security operation with large U.S. military support to reduce drug trafficking and fight organized crime in Colombia. The policy began under former President Bill Clinton and was continued under Bush, who worked closely with Uribe to ensure its success.
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