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Colombia FARC rebels reborn as ‘revolutionary force’ party

The FARC rebels

Bogota, Colombia | AFP | Colombia’s FARC former guerrilla force on Thursday re baptized itself the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, as it transformed into a political party following its disarmament.

In spite of earlier resistance from some members of the movement, the name retains the revolutionary spirit of the communist guerrilla group, which fought a bloody 52-year campaign against the state before signing a peace deal last year.

“By a majority decision in our congress, the name of the new party has been fixed as the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force,” the group’s leader Rodrigo Londono wrote on Twitter.

Delegates from the newly demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have spent the week gathered in a founding congress to choose their political representatives ahead of next year’s general elections.

The choice of name was the other key item on the agenda — some FARC leaders wanted to keep the “revolutionary” element while others wanted to soften the group’s image by dropping it in favor of “New Colombia.”

In Spanish the new name, Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Comun, has the same acronym as the former rebel force’s title, so it can continue to be referred to as the FARC.

The party had yet to give an official English translation for its title. In its former guise it was known in English as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The FARC formed as a communist movement in 1964 from a peasant uprising for rural land rights.

The Colombian conflict drew in various rebel forces, paramilitary groups and state forces.

It left some 260,000 people confirmed dead, 60,000 unaccounted for and seven million displaced.

Londono said at the start of the congress that the group will advocate “a democratic political regime that guarantees peace and social justice, respects human rights and guarantees economic development for all of us who live in Colombia.”

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