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Colombian Government Expects Fewer Statements and More Peaceful Actions from FARC

By Dialogo
February 08, 2011

On 7 February, Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzón said that as a condition for negotiations with the FARC guerrilla group, the government expects fewer statements, fewer words, and more actions, such as the release of all those kidnapped by the group and an end to terrorism.

“The president (Juan Manuel Santos) has said that if the guerrilla group performs these peaceful actions, he is more than willing to build scenarios of peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation in our country, meaning that he is expecting fewer statements, fewer words from the guerrilla group, and more peaceful actions,” Garzón specified in a conversation with Bogotá radio stations.

The vice president recalled that “the government has repeatedly demanded that the FARC release all those kidnapped, without conditions of any kind, that they end the practice of kidnapping and terrorism, that they end the use of antipersonnel mines, and that they free the children they have recruited by force.”

Garzón spoke prior to the promised release by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) of three military personnel and two politicians in the group’s power, who are expected to return to their homes in the second week of February, according to the rebel group.

“We hope that the FARC will free those five people this week, as they’ve promised since 8 December, and for which the government has provided all facilities,” the vice president indicated in that regard.

On 6 February, the Anncol news agency, which customarily publishes FARC information, called on Santos to “take advantage” of the moment of the release to start “a dialogue that might enable a political solution of the conflict.”

The request was made two days after the president reiterated his offer to the insurgents to seek a negotiated end to Colombia’s half-century of war.