Delay in Peace Talks between Colombia and FARC
By Dialogo October 16, 2012Contacts between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to formally launch the peace process in Oslo, were delayed, apparently due to weather conditions, but reasons were kept in the utmost secrecy. For now, Norway will conduct a press conference on October 17.
A source close to the negotiating team confirmed that the departure of (government) delegates from Bogotá was delayed on October 14 due to the weather conditions. “We don’t know when they will be travelling.”
Bogota’s El Dorado Airport closed its operations for several hours and canceled flights in recent days due to hail and thunderstorms.
The FARC were contacted in Havana and they did not want to comment about the issue, or reveal when they plan to travel.
The Norwegian government announced that a press conference will be held on October 17, and its Foreign Ministry confirmed on October 15 that the date of the event still stands for the time being.
President Juan Manuel Santos’ governmental delegations and the FARC have agreed to celebrate with discretion.
“It is better not to provide details to avoid speculation or possible misinterpretations,” Marco León Calarcá, member of the FARC delegation in the secret communications held in Havana to set up the agenda for the negotiations in Oslo, told AFP via email.
“We have requested journalists to be understanding, because apart from the news and information, the important thing is to move forward in the peace process,” he added.
Meanwhile, the armed conflict is still taking place, because government opposed a cease fire due to the rebels’ actions.
The FARC guerrillas blew up two energy towers on October 14, in the rural Colombian department of Norte de Santander, which borders Venezuela.