BOGOTA – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group leader Ivan Marquez, who recently decided to take up arms, announced on Wednesday his intention to revive a Bolivarian movement that will operate underground.
“All those who feel like Bolivarian please come with us, because the Bolivarian Movement for the New Colombia is an immense flag in the wind that is still under construction and that could have at this moment the historic possibility of taking the leap to open political struggle,” Marquez said in an online video, the third he has published since last Thursday.
The former guerrilla, who was chief negotiator of the FARC peace talks in Havana, said that this “new political construction” does not discriminate and no offices, so its “headquarters are wherever there is discontent in Colombia.”
Marquez, whose whereabouts have been unknown for more than a year, reappeared on Aug. 29 in a video along with other former leaders of the former guerrilla group to announce that they’re beginning “a new chapter of armed struggle.”
Among those who accompanied him in the filming were Seuxis Pausias Hernandez, alias “Jesus Santrich,” and Hernan Dario Velasquez, alias “El Paisa,” who months ago stopped fulfilling their commitments to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.
Marquez said the Bolivarian movement seeks to evoke the words of former guerrilla leader Alfonso Cano, who two decades ago led the political arm created after the failed peace process between the FARC and the government of the conservative Andreas Pastrana.
“Amid the ups and downs that are presented to us today in a scenario characterized by the treachery of the regime against the desire of the majority for reconciliation, the Bolivarian Movement for the New Colombia will continue to reunite the people clandestinely,” he said.
For this reason, Marquez urged the members of the movement to fight for the “demands of the people” and to “seek true peace with social justice,” while showing videos of militants dressed in black and wearing ski masks forming in the country’s public universities.
In the video published on Wednesday, the former guerrilla is accompanied by Santrich and El Paisa, among others, who pose in front of several backdrops with images of former leaders Jacobo Arenas and Manuel Marulanda, founders of the FARC.
“We must all remember that those who have imposed the conditions are the enemies of the people,” said Marquez, who added that the “dominant power bloc” failed to comply with the peace agreement between the government and the FARC.
Also on Wednesday, the Ethics Committee of the FARC party asked the National Political Council of that party to expel six former guerrilla leaders who announced last week that they were taking up arms again, among them Marquez, Santrich and El Paisa.