FARC leader ‘Timochenko’ announces run in Colombia’s 2018 presidential race

November 7, 2017

November, 2 2017 (Colombisreports)

Before having faced justice over more than 100 war crimes, FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, a.k.a. “Timochenko,” announced on Wednesday he is taking part in the 2018 presidential elections.

The announcement came less than a year after the beginning of a peace process that seeks to end more than half a century of armed conflict between the Marxists and the state.

Chances of Londoño winning the elections are slim as most Colombians disapprove of the man who was the country’s most wanted terrorist until last year.

Londoño announced that his running mate will be Imelda Daza, a social democrat who has been living in exile in Sweden since the 1990s.

The FARC’s congressional campaign will be led by “Ivan Marquez,” who was a congressman in the 1980s.

The former guerrillas said last year they would not take part in the 2018 elections, but endorse a mainstream candidate who would guarantee the success of an ongoing peace process.

Before entering politics earlier this year, the FARC violently sought to take down the state, which has traditionally been run by an exclusive ruling class and has been marred by corruption, neglect and mass human rights violations.

Whether the FARC’s candidate will be allowed to enter the race before being submitted to transitional justice depends on Congress that has been looking into a transitional justice bill for months.

Some senators want the FARC to pay for their crimes before being allowed to enter politics.

The demobilized guerrillas took part in elections after a peace agreement in 1985. The party that then took them in, the Patriotic Union, nearly became extinct after a terror campaign in which thousands of leaders and supporters were assassinated.