FARC-EP appeal to the Colombian people of Caribe

Commanders of the reconstituted Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) have issued open letters to the peoples of various regions of Colombia to explain the decision to return to the armed struggle against the oligarch state and U.S. imperialism and appeal for support and united activity for a New Colombia. Below is one example, from Chalo and Jesús Santrich, directed to the peoples of the northern states bordering the Caribbean.

As long as there is a will to fight there will be hope of winning

Companeras y companeros, inhabitants of the Colombian Caribe, of sea breeze and mountain range, of plains and mountains, of ciengas and deserts, but above all with the spirit of optimism in the fight for the demands of the people for social justice, we send you our warm, fraternal embrace of hope in a New Colombia, which we will forge together sooner rather than later in an atmosphere of harmony and progress that benefits the majority who are today subjugated and impoverished.

Commander Jesús Santrich (center, wearing keffiyeh) with other FARC-EP 
militants following the announcement of the resumption of armed struggle.

Almost 34 years have passed since the first commission of the FARC-EP made its arrival in the Colombian Caribe in the territories of the majestic Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. From then until today our movement has worked side by side with peasants, Indigenous people, Afro-Colombians, workers, and women, among other sectors organized to change the social, political and economic conditions of the region and the country. Our commitment to the Caribe and its struggles has always been of homeland or death.

In this arduous task great cadres sacrificed their lives. Today we honor the unforgettable pioneer builder of the Blouque Caribe Adan Izquierdo, Martin Caballero and the martyrs of the Montes de Maria, Comrade Efrain Guzman, genius of the Colombian insurrection, to Ciro and Canaguaro, to Susana, to Deysi and Dayana, to Estela and to all the guerrillas who sacrificed everything for a true peace with social justice.

Part of this effort materialized in the founding of the Patriotic Union in Pueblo Bello, which was followed by the fiercest attack, where the FARC-EP, as in Havana, did not spare human or material resources to honor the agreements. Our will for peace was always genuine and transparent.

Today the agreements signed in Havana have been betrayed, and the bloodbath that became known worldwide as the genocide of the Patriotic Union is being reproduced.

The struggle for the noble purposes of a New Colombia has never been easy; to all attempts to democratize the Colombian State through peace agreements, the counter-insurgent power bloc has responded with violence against the people. This logic has kept Colombia in continuous cycles of violence and dispossession, where the biggest victim has been the fabric of the people.

In Caribe, violence and dispossession have been carried out mainly by the large transnationals of mining-energy exploitation, agro-industry and cattle ranching, which have relied on the ruling class and its state and paramilitary armed apparatus to slaughter, disappear and displace thousands of Caribe workers, Indigenous people and peasants.

Today in La Guajira, perhaps the richest region in energy mining resources, the people continue to suffer from hunger and thirst and rise against corruption and against coal exploitation projects that threaten extensive territories of Canaverales, Fonesca and Dibulla, among others.

This corrupt leadership, allied with transnational capital that has fed on war, dispossession and super-exploitation of the people, has betrayed the dreams of peace of Colombians; they, who sowed winds of perfidy and mockery, will have to answer to the country for the betrayed peace, for the war they have fed and unleashed. They are the ones who have forced us by their failure to resume the armed struggle, with the sword of Bolivar, Manuel and all our martyrs, stating that the rebellion is not a defeated or vanquished flag.

This brief message carries the central purpose of ratifying, with our modest contribution from the coastal latitudes, the decision taken by veteran insurgent FARC-EP commanders to continue the armed resistance struggle, the political-military battle, in pursuit of the structural social transformations that will make our country a land for all the humble and hardworking people who, for decades, suffering the scourge of the exploiters, have called out to achieve reconciliation and march on a path of solidarity, respect and decorum.

That is the road forward, and to it we add to the militancy that continues to believe that, despite the pettiness and indolence of the oligarchy of this region struck by misery, gathering consciences and wills, knowing that there is no better way to achieve freedom than to fight for it, we can achieve the victory of the dispossessed.

To fight for this altruistic purpose we summon the courageous and bold people of every corner of this northern region, returning to the heritage and memory of our brave people martyred by the terrorism of the state that continues its criminal fury favoring the most powerful. To the communities of La Guajira, Sucre, Cesar, Magdalena, Bolivar and Cordoba; to our comrades of the ETCRs of La Pondores and Tierra Grata, we send our words of encouragement to continue the struggle for a good life and respect for community rights from the trench in which they are or decide to go; but we also summon them to give support to the demands of the guerrilla cause.

The undeniable betrayal to which the Havana Agreements were subjected is no secret to anyone, and that consequently the decision of the armed uprising is justified, whose fundamental purpose is none other than to persist in the search for a better future for our nation. So the decision made by the guerrilla collective that upholds the Bolivarian and Marulandist revolutionary flags and principles, is nothing other than the categorical imperative which sets before us the historical reality of a craven oligarchy that while aiming its rifles against its own people, kneels before its imperial masters.

We continue with our voices lifted, raising the slogans of true peace without more treachery, without more lies, without more hypocrisy …; a peace that we will conquer, not alone, but side by side with the people, with their political and social organizations; in the course of the united movement of those who weave their utopias with faith in the homeland and in a better world.

Long live the memory of Martin Caballero!

With Bolivar, with Manuel, with the Power of the People!

Chalo and
Jesús Santrich

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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