The story of Luis Antonio Lozada: from guerrilla commander to opposition spokesman in Congress

The story of Luis Antonio Lozada: from guerrilla commander to opposition spokesman in Congress

In 2016, with the signing of the peace agreement between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the extinct FARC, the Comunes Party emerged as a result of the guarantees of political participation. In addition, the possibility was opened for some of its members to hold seats in the Senate for approximately two terms. One of the members who took one of the positions in The Senate was Julián Gallo, better known by his former nom de guerre ‘Carlos Antonio Lozada’.

Gallo was one of the interlocutors who yesterday replied as opposition to President Iván Duque and pointed out that in his administrative period the agreement did not work: “You were inferior to that historical mission that you had. His public policy of ‘Peace with Legality’ was nothing more than a deception”.

However, the political history of the current senator is related to his family life, since Julián Gallo’s father was a member of the Communist Party, for which he joined from the age of 15; and at 17 he decided to be part of the Farc after being attacked by the public force.

“In my house there was talk of politics, of the left, of socialism, of the Soviet Union, of Cuba. In those conversations, and the meetings of my father’s friends, I joined the Communist Party since I was 15 years old. I started militating in my house, where a party cell met”, he narrated to The viewer.

That was how Gallo was a member of the FARC-EP for 39 years. Despite the fact that the current representative of the Comunes is from Bogotá, he began his guerrilla work in Cali led by Pablo Catatumbo; later he went through front 6 and front 8. Until his communication skills allowed him to be part of the urban work direction where he lasted 19 years.

In 2000 he was part of the first peace commission that took place in Caguán; After the failed attempt, he became a member of the FARC-EP Secretariat in 2010 and became the head of the Antonio Nariño Urban Network.

“During those years of clandestinity I lived in Cali, Medellín, Bogotá, Bucaramanga or Barranquilla, but above all I lived in Cali and Bogotá. To the extent that they assigned me tasks, I learned to live in hiding. To build another identity. to lead a double life”, He said a while ago to the Colombian media.

After years of hiding when the dialogue with the government of Juan Manuel Santos was consolidated, in 2015 at the dialogue table in Havana, in one of the plenipotentiary negotiators who expedited the talks. For the past four years he has served as a senator and has maintained his commitment to the peace accords.

Julian Gallo, Pastor Alape, Rodrigo Londono, Rodrigo Granda, Milton de Jesus Toncel, Pablo Catatumbo and Jaime Alberto Parra, former commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and now members of the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force political party, attend a recognition hearing by the Secretariat of the extinct guerrilla for the kidnappings perpetrated in the framework of the armed conflict, in Bogota, Colombia June 21, 2022. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

It is even part of the hearings that are carried out by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace -JEP- and other mechanisms of the peace agreement participated. On June 22, the hearing of acknowledgment of responsibility in cases related to kidnapping was presented before the Chamber for the Recognition of the Truth.

“We have come to assume the cruelty that this crime involved, because it was taking all the families hostage, generating all that pain and the uncertainty of whether the person was going to return alive, and the uncertainty of those who were in captivity as to how their family would be. … This practice was uncontrollable in many regions”, established Pastor Alape at the beginning of the hearing.

However, one of the most important remarks made today before the JEP was the recognition of Milton de Jesús Toncel, known under the pseudonym ‘Joaquín Gómez’who recognized that on many occasions, the FARC guerrillas continued to collect extortions from the families of the hostages, even when they had already died in captivity.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.