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  • “From his first step in my country, I felt that something would finally change,” the FARC leader said.

    “From his first step in my country, I felt that something would finally change,” the FARC leader said. | Photo: Reuters

"I am deeply touched by his holy presence in my homeland," Timochencko, FARC leader, wrote in a letter to the Pope Thursday.

Rodrigo Londoño, alias Timochenko, leader of the Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons, or FARC, publicly announced his deep regard for Pope Francis and the minister’s mission for peace around the world.

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"I am deeply touched by his holy presence in my homeland, whose people have the privilege of hearing his word of faith, hope, joy, love, reconciliation, and peace," Timochencko wrote in a letter to the Pope Thursday, after the pontiff’s push for peace.

The leader of the former guerilla group stated his organization had only ever fought to achieve justice for the excluded and those persecuted in Colombia.

"Overcoming the foolish resistance to any agreement and finally agreeing to end the conflict and building a stable and lasting peace,” the FARC leader said adding he and his group had prayed for it.

Londono stated the end of pope’s three-day visit is a historical moment for Colombia.

"I have seen how from the different corners of the country come compatriots of all ages and conditions to listen to his message, to cheer his presence and his word, to learn from his humility and generosity,” he wrote.

"We pray that from now on he will always be with Colombia, because his love will bring peace, reconciliation, and justice that the sons and daughters of this country so long for," Timochencko stated.

“From his first step in my country, I felt that something would finally change,” he said.

Londono emphasized: "I do not know if it would be very well to implore you, that with the magnificent power of your prayer, you will raise your voice and invite all the Colombian people to pray too, so that the enormous effort involved to form the Table of Conversations, to discuss in it for years."

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Timochenko has stated the former guerrilla group turned political party, known for five decades as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army, will focus on fighting corruption and poverty, especially in rural areas, and that politics would not be easy.

The FARC has already announced plans to seek a 2018 election alliance with the Colombian Communist Party, less than a year before the country's presidential election.

Since the peace agreement was signed in November, ex-guerrillas have made efforts to re-enter society, with announcing their plans to form a professional league soccer club for their male and female members.

Additionally, a number of former FARC members were selected to begin medical studies in Cuba in September on the condition that they return to their local communities to practice the trade.

The new party aims to take part in all future elections, from votes for small communal councils to municipal polls as well as for legislative seats.

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