The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Fabian Marulanda, said the death of FARC leader “Tirofijo” could be an opportunity for the rebel group to realize that power cannot be obtained through violence and that it should reconsider choosing peace.
“This could be an opportunity for the FARC to realize the difficulty of maintaining its positions and its ideal of achieving power through armed force,” Bishop Marulanda told the press.
However, the bishop also called on the Colombian government to be prudent in the wake of news of the death of Tirofijo. “Triumphs must me handled with even greater prudence than failures, because the one who is defeated or wounded can react in unexpected ways,” he said. “The commanders of the guerrillas must be hurt by the death of someone who was an icon to them, their supreme commanding idol,” the bishop explained.
Tirofijo, also know as “Manuel Marulanda” and whose real name is Pedro Antonio Marin, died on March 26. However, his death was confirmed only last Saturday by the Colombian government and confirmed by the FARC on the following day.