Colombia, FARC Reach Agreement on Agrarian Issue in Cuba

By Dialogo
May 29, 2013

The Colombian government and the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) reported on May 26 that they have reached a momentous agreement about the agrarian issue, the first point in the agenda of peace talks held in Havana, due to the armed conflict that has been going on for over 50 years.

“We have reached an agreement for the first point on the agenda,” with five points in total, Cuban diplomat Carlos Fernández de Cossío declared in the presence of both delegations while reading a joint statement from both parties in Cuba, a country that, along with Norway, officiates as guarantor in the peace talks.

“The agreement on agrarian development seeks to reverse the effects of conflict and to compensate the victims of forced deprivation and displacement,” Fernández de Cossío added.

In Bogotá, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos celebrated this advancement in negotiations with the guerrillas, after six months of talks in Cuba.

“We truly celebrate this fundamental step made in Havana towards a full agreement, to put an end to the conflict that has been going on for half a century,” Santos said in a message posted on his official Twitter account.

Both parties reached “agreements on the access and use of land, unproductive land, property formalization, agricultural borders, and protection of preservation areas,” according to the two-part joint statement; the first part of which was read by Fernández de Cossío and the second part read by Norwegian delegate, Dag Nylander.

The FARC’s chief negotiator, Iván Márquez, stated that there are some “pending issues” about the agrarian issue, which will be resumed later in the talks.

“We have moved forward in building an agreement with certain pending issues, which will be addressed before the final agreement,” Márquez said, second in command of the FARC, the main guerrilla group in Colombia.