Colombian Government Accuses FARC of Using Peace Negotiations for Politics

By Dialogo
July 30, 2013

The Colombian government accused FARC communist guerrillas of using peace negotiations to “do politics” when they resumed on July 28, and requested to “move forward” to seek agreements that might put an end to the armed conflict in the country.

“This is a reminder of why we are here for these talks in Havana: this is not a negotiation process for the FARC to make politics, but to reach an agreement to end the conflict,” said Humberto de la Calle, the government negotiation head, to the press just before the talks started with the guerrilla delegation at the Convention Palace in the Cuban capital.

After a 19-day break, on July 28, the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia started their twelfth round of peace talks, focusing on the second point – political participation – on the agenda, which provides guarantees for the guerrillas when they disarm, as well as measures for their inclusion into Colombia’s politics.

The insurgents accused Juan Manuel Santos’s government of using a double standard, since they are “sending peace speeches to the world” and they keep on “maintaining and reinforcing confrontation causes, one of which is the ownership and use of lands.”

On July 27, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared that they will not agree on a ceasefire with the FARC while the peace talks are ongoing in Cuba, stating that the military offensive will continue to persuade rebels to disarm.

The peace process started in November 2012 with a five-point agenda, including agrarian developments (already agreed upon), political participation, illicit drugs, disarmament, and victims reparations.