Colombian Peace Talks Move Forward in Cuba

By Dialogo
May 07, 2013

On May 3, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas stated that there is “progress” in the ongoing peace negotiations held in Havana, although Humberto de la Calle, head of the government delegation, admitted it was moving forward at a slow pace.

“There is progress in the social policy issue; on the other hand, I must admit that there are mixed feelings when evaluating this phase,” former Vice President De la Calle told the press, after finishing the eighth cycle of conversations that started on November 19, 2012.

“On one hand, there is progress (…); however, I must inform the public that, in our view, the pace of conversations has been insufficient, inconsistent,” he added.

The government delegation said in a written statement that “major progress was made” in the complex agrarian issue, by which the conflict emerged in Colombia, and that the parties already have “a draft agreement after discussing this matter in depth.”

“Today we submitted a relatively satisfactory evaluation regarding social progress, but we could have made much more progress. We believe that a public acknowledgement about the points we’ve agreed on, as well as the desire to make further progress is not enough, so we have to put this on the table and make it a reality,” he added.

The insurgents were also encouraged to move forward by President Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia.

Since the talks began in November, both delegations worked on the first topic (concerning the agrarian issue) on the five-point agenda that was previously agreed upon to end the decades-long conflict.

The talks will resume in Havana’s Convention Palace on May 15.