Nothing farther from the truth.
Our organic and hierarchical structure always corresponded to that of a rigorously disciplined army, composed of revolutionaries, with very high political, social and moral standards.
The FARC always worked to provide knowledge, discipline and experience to its members, women and men, with a view to their permanent improvement. There were never any deadlines to ascend automatically in the command, the directions recognized those that advanced the most in all the senses. The regulation of disciplinary regime was a sacred norm.
Who transgressed its prescriptions was subject to the corresponding sanctions. On the fronts, we lived like a large family, in which the commanders were a bit like the parents of others. That is why, regardless of their age, the guerrillas called them “cuchos”, giving them the affectionate form used by young people of the countryside to call their parents.
The authority of the command always had very precise limits. There was a space of mandatory convocation at least every fortnight, the meeting of the political cell. In it the commanders did not exercise their rank. The collective listened to the individual reports on any matter, in particular on the behavior of the commanders. And condemned any excess.
The conclusions of the cells had to be obligatorily sent to the superior direction, that was thus made aware of the situation of the units under their control. No combatant could be sanctioned for what he expressed in the cell. As a democratic space it was treated with care by commanders and base combatants: there any career could be thrown to the bin.
There is no trace of immorality in the norms that governed the FARC for more than half a century of struggle. Commands or combatants who committed excesses, who violated the guidelines set forth in National Conferences or Plenary Staff, were rigorously sanctioned, except when they deserted and threw themselves into the arms of the enemy.
War is between two sides. It is understandable that each of them receives and encourages the traitors of the other. And try to infiltrate its people into the ranks of the adversary. The worst rapists of the guerrilla juridicity always enjoyed high esteem in the Army. This and the Police always sent agents to the ranks, with the purpose of breaking down the ethics of the rebels.
Sowers of tares, permanent generators of conflicts, saboteurs with missions that never ceased to surprise because of their meanness.
We lived in the middle of the war, persecuted all the time by an implacable enemy, with death, wounds, prison and torture threatening us day and night. Worse still when the paramilitarism and its barbarism joined the troops.
There will always be those who accuse us of posing as victims. As if the military and paramilitary operations of extermination had never existed, as if the deaths in combat and the permanent executions outside of it, in the countryside and the city, had not been daily, as if the savage treatment in battalions, barracks and prisons was a joyful invention.
No legal or illegal organization in the history of the country has suffered like the FARC the attacks by the State. One day I proposed to the command to draw up an approximate list of how many guerrillas had militated in our ranks, how many had died or paid prison sentences. Each item was so numerous that it was impossible to calculate it.
Not counting the civilians who sympathized with our cause, who worked on our side or who were simply falsely accused of it and paid dear consequences. What fuels the hatred against us is that despite such carnage they never managed to defeat us. That is why even today, to achieve it, they appeal to the most rogue methods.
There is no organization in which there are no sprains, and the FARC cannot be the immaculate exception. We were protagonists of multiple war councils, in which the most serious violations of our discipline were sanctioned with the maximum penalty by the collective. No one can say we were tolerant or permissive with failure to follow rules.
Although our idea was never to destroy, but to build, except in cases of extreme gravity, as dictated by the regulation. The war has ended. We can no longer impose sanctions according to our rules and procedures. If something was left pending, it must be taken over by the agreed bodies. Let no one think that we will condone reproachful behaviors.
This does not mean that we remain impassively silent before the premeditated constructions of our enemies. They will not be our judges, nor will we be theirs.
We accept this: for that reason we agree to the JEP. We bet on truth to emerge, clear, the real truth, not the one of microphones and insidious headlines.
The panic of certain sectors can not blind a country, no gentlemen, it cannot.