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timo.jpgRSS Timoleón Jiménez

Timoleón Jiménez is the head of the National Secretariat of the FARC-EP and its Central High Command 
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:00

Letter to the artists and intellectuals of Colombia

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Dear friends:

In my free time I watch movies, read, and if inspiration hits me, I write, I venture verses that only I know.

That struggle with words certainly widens my spirit, but mostly generates in me a great admiration for people able to create, whether in art, letters, science or politics. I think that creation is the greatest of human qualities, through which we leave lasting marks on the world.

History is never linear, it not only happens in giant leaps, but it also advances giving really surprising twists. Our country is ready to leave behind decades of war to consolidate peace and we feel an enormous responsibility to be protagonists of this, a shift that not only commits us all, but that will generate profound changes in the distorted looks elaborated on our struggle.

We will require great creativity, a keen humanism that while definitely bringing us closer to the non-repetition of causes and effects of conflict, will make Colombia a fairer nation. Such creativity should move and give back even to skeptics credibility in peace and justice. We need affection to re-weave the broken social ties, to mitigate hatred and rancor, to draw smiles on every face.

For this we must turn our eyes to the homeland, recognize it not only in its beauty and splendor, but also in the richness of its cultural diversity. You, my artist friends, doctors of science, academics and teachers, are like the skin of the nation, you are essential for building peace. You recreate the events from art and Colombia, today more than ever, needs a new story of what happened told by many voices and in many languages.

At this time, finally, despite the difficulties, a light in the tunnel is shining. The light of the Final Peace Agreement, after a long decanting in the talks by our social and political conflicts. This agreement will only make sense if the country makes it its own, if it recognizes the product of their old demands. It will materialise social and political demands that will open the doors to true democracy and deferred social justice.

We believe that in the post agreement, together with the construction of peace in the territory, art, science and culture will play a decisive role. They will not be easy days, as the enemies of peace persist in their violent obsession - we are warned by the latest figures on deaths and threats. In addition to social mobilization, we will require mental mobilization in the field of ideas and useful images, such as Bertolt Brecht used to say.

It correspond to you to help in the recovery of sensitivity for reconciliation and peace, with truth and justice in our territory. Your story will convert memory in a live fact and surely will shorten the way. War and violence have shattered social ties, rebuilding them will be much more than a social and political work, it will embrace culture and art, the idea that another country is possible must take its place in the imaginary.

A country where political differences are not paid with life, where the opposition has a place and where the right to land is a shared legitimate aspiration. Our country has enough territory, culture and art to grow food and to distribute bread and solidarity, two things which are in short supply. Education and culture are increasingly hard to access to the poor and middle class families. This is what has to change with this process.

Culture and art are identity, but also freedom. You cannot imagine a country wishing to abandon war, penetrate the truth and create justice, without science, without valuing the words of poets and writers, without the images of cinema and theater, without the magic of visual arts. We salute the directors of EMBRACE OF THE SNAKE, we feel homeland pride to see our creators get that far.

We know that many of you have performed actions, events and countless meetings for peace. Here come the echoes of your thoughts and your work. You should know that we value you highly, we know how much your efforts have helped to make the tide against the war growing. You, when the post agreement comes, will have in your minds and hands the power to reproduce and disseminate more and more subjects of peace.

Finally, I would like to stress that in all these years of struggle, our people have endured long, hard days listening to your songs, reading your writings, admiring your genius. Your arts move us to dream a better country.
Sooner rather than later we will be in the Territories of Peace, and we hope that those places in our country will become spaces for knowledge and creation.

There we wait for you, to merge in a tight embrace.


Timoleón Jiménez
Comandante of the Central High Command of the FARC-EP
Havana, March 26, 2016


Also read: Caravan for peace in Conejo

Last modified on Sunday, 03 April 2016 16:23
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