Colombia’s FARC Terrorists Rebrand, Keep Acronym: ‘We Do Not Want to Break from Our Past’

Colombia grants special legal treatment, amnesty and pardon to Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) members accused of political and related crimes
AFP/ JOAQUIN SARMIENTO

Vowing that “we do not want to break ties to our past,” Colombia’s Marxist terrorist group FARC has announced it will keep its acronym as a political party while rebranding as the “Revolutionary Alternative Common Force.”

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—as they have been known for over half a century of killing, abductions, forced abortions, rape, and use of child soldiers, among other crimes—are establishing a legal political party as a result of peace negotiations with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos. Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for his efforts in legitimizing the terrorist organization.

On Thursday, the FARC held a closed-door convention to choose its new identity as a legal political party. It chose the new name and a rose as its logo, the symbol of the Socialist International (SI) and some of its member parties. The SI has not yet stated whether it would allow the FARC to join its coalition of parties:

Some on Twitter have taken to mocking the logo, with one meme surfacing reading “What a pretty logo! It shows the petals but hides the thorns. … That is how communism deceives the imperceptive”:

Allegedly former guerrilla leader “Ivan Márquez” (all FARC leaders use pseudonyms) chose the new name, explaining to journalists prior to the vote that chose his suggestion, “we do not want to break ties with our past, we have been and will continue to be a revolutionary force.” His name won out against “New Colombia,” the suggestion by FARC terrorist leader “Timochenko.”

On Twitter, “Timochenko” shared a graphic that highlighted “corruption” as a major platform issue for the FARC group:

“No more traditional political parties and their corrupt politics. Transparency and truth will guide the actions of the #NewParty,” the graphic reads in part.

Yet even before the launch of the terrorist party, the FARC had hit significant roadblocks in keeping their end of the peace bargain.

Under the deal, FARC terrorists were required to appear at designated disarmament centers, hand over their weapons, and register to have their crimes reviewed by a special FARC tribunal. Most FARC terrorists will not have to serve prison time, but will need to work in community service repairing rural villages that the group has looted, destroyed, and has littered with landmines. The government extended the disarmament deadline to September 15.

The deal also required the FARC to submit a list of total assets to the government. As one of the most lucrative cocaine-trafficking operations in the world, the FARC is expected to boast a prodigious arsenal of assets that can be sold to generate funds for political campaigns. What they presented to the government was a list of “assets” that included mops, cattle, and juice squeezers, while failing “to properly identify what lands it owns,” according to the Washington Post.

“To have included such absolutely ridiculous items is a joke on the victims,” Colombian government’s top post-conflict strategist said of the asset list, which totaled $326 million.

In 2014, Forbes magazine listed the FARC as the wealthiest non-Islamic terrorist group in the world, estimating their revenue at $600 million a year.

The peace deal guarantees the FARC ten seats in Congress through 2026, for which no other parties may compete.

The FARC peace deal is the product of a government override of popular will. Colombians voted against amnesty for the FARC in late 2016, with rural Colombians – the closest to the FARC’s violent operations – voting “no” in larger numbers than those in cities and coastal areas far from the dense Colombian jungle the FARC exploits. Santos pushed the deal through Congress despite the Colombian constitution requiring a popular vote to approve it, triggering an opposition push to annul the deal at the Interamerican Court for Human Rights this week.

The FARC’s terrorist actions have resulted in over 220,000 deaths and an unknown number of disappearances, estimated in the tens of thousands. They remain a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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