Guillermo Enrique Torres Cueter did not stop singing vallenatos accompanied by his guitar during the electoral campaign of the local elections in Colombia. Since this Sunday he is the first ex-guerrilla of the FARC to become mayor after the signing of the peace agreements with the now extinct insurgent group. Known as Julián Conrado or The FARC singer, won the mayor of Turbaco, on the Caribbean coast, with an absolute majority and a speech focused on the fight against corruption and the defense of environmental resources.
"The time has come to break the chains, the time has come for freedom," he cried from the social networks hours before the opening of the polls. "We cannot miss this moment of effervescence and heat, we cannot let this unique and happy occasion escape. The doors of dignity are open. Vote for love of Turbaco." This municipality of about 70,000 inhabitants near Cartagena de Indias is the seat of the government of the department of Bolívar, which was plagued by guerrilla and paramilitary violence for decades.
Conrado, 65, was a communist militant from a young age and wielded weapons in the 1980s. His victory does not mean, however, an electoral success of the party born from the former guerrilla, which only appeared to 16 mayorships and did not obtain positions of power. The Common Revolutionary Alternative Force has a very low social acceptance and this candidate decided to concur with the acronym of Colombia Humana, the party of the presidential senator and former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, who congratulated him on Twitter. "Julián Conrado is a former FARC combatant and a peace singer, he decided to enter the Human Colombia and is elected mayor of Turbaco."
Despite having opted for another formation, the FARC also celebrated its outcome, calling it "achievement of the peace process" and conveying "best wishes." Also the excomandante Pastor Alape received his triumph as a "breath" to follow the path of the agreements reached in Havana with the Government of former President Juan Manuel Santos.
"These are extremely complicated elections," Rodrigo Londoño told EL PAÍS, Timochenko, at the beginning of the campaign "We don't have a single weight," said the former commander in chief of the guerrilla and today leader of the party. "The environment is not easy, but we must always be optimistic, and beyond the results as FARC I think we are going to do an apprenticeship. This is like a baby, like a child. To walk you have to hit yourself and surely we are going to suffer many blows before learning, "he said.