Letter from the FARC Commander in Chief to the EU Presidency.

Prime Minister Mr. Matti Vanhanen
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Erkki Tuomioja
Presidendency of the European Union

Dear Sirs,

Our Commander in Chief, Manuel Marulanda Vélez, officers and combatants send our greetings and wishes for success in your term of office on behalf of the peoples of the European Union.

June of this year was the fourth anniversary of the inclusion of Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejercito del Pueblo (FARC-EP) in the list of terrorist organizations compiled by the Foreign Ministers of the then fifteen member nations of the EU.

This regrettable error coincided with the election of Mr. álvaro Uribe Vélez to the presidency of our country with the unfulfilled promise of the return of tranquility and security for all Colombians. It is undeniably true that the perversion of the peace negotiations conducted with the Pastrana administration, demonized by the Colombian ultra-right and their handlers in Washington, destroyed in a stroke any possibility of reaching a long yearned for peace for all Colombians.

It has now been four years of blood and violence accompanied by an enormous social crisis. The reign of the current administration has been characterized by disappearances, assassinations, massacres, forced displacements, administrative corruption, drug trafficking, fraudulent elections and the passage of laws granting impunity to human rights violators. Under the guise of negotiations with the government’s own paramilitary forces, this administration has legalized them and incorporated their enormous riches gained from drug trafficking into the national economy.

Colombia must no longer be condemned to perpetual war. We accept the solidarity of governments when offered without conditions, coercion or lists based on the pretexts of the so-called war on terrorism.

We would like to acknowledge the interest of some of the countries of the European Union in contributing to the search for paths leading to the exchange of prisoners, an effort consistently obstructed by the álvaro Uribe Vélez administration. We, on the other hand, persist in our determination to bring about such an exchange.

The FARC is a product of the government´s war on our people and unquestionably an essentional partner in a negotiated settlement of the social and armed conflicts that rage in Colombia today in order to achieve a lasting peace with social justice.

Our political struggle is against the Colombian oligarchy, due to the social, economic and political inequities that are so rampant in Colombia. Beyond our frontiers, our only mission is to establish relations with all of the world´s governments, with their political parties and their social organizations. The best way to contribute to the objective of peace in Colombia is to get to know both sides of the conflict.

Yours sincerely

Raúl Reyes
Head of the International Commission of the FARC-EP
The mountains of Colombia, 19 July 2006

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