Ecuadorean President Calls FARC to Lay Down Arms and Fight Democratically

By Dialogo
September 04, 2012

On August 30, Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, called the Colombian FARC guerrillas to lay down their weapons and follow the path of democracy, noting that the armed fight had lost all rationale.

“It is a historically opportune moment for the FARC to lay down their arms, be integrated into political life, and fight democratically if they want to change the situation in Colombia,” said the leftist president in his weekly address, recorded on August 30.

“If there were ever people who sought an armed struggle to escape poverty, that goal will not be achieved in this way in the 21st century,” he warned.

Correa said that he visited Colombian Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín, on August 27, to give her the “extraordinary news” of a signed “framework document” between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC “to start the dialogue for definitive peace.”

The Ecuadorean Head of State stressed that, “it’s now or never that peace can be achieved in Colombia”, and hoped that the exploratory discussions lead to the peace in the neighboring country.

“To the armed groups, I insist: [fighting] against a democracy in the 21st century is no longer the way, there is no (military) way out of this conflict, the only thing that it is going to cost is more blood, more death, more pain, hurting those who they supposedly want to help”, observed the president.

Correa reiterated that the initiation of discussions with the communist guerrillas “is the best news in recent decades in America”, for it is the “last armed conflict in a country of the great nation, which has endured for close to half a century, but lost its reason for being and has no armed solution.”

On August 27, Santos announced that his administration held “exploratory discussions” toward a peace dialogue with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the continent’s oldest guerrilla group, and they carried it out without interrupting the operational and military presence throughout Colombia.