FARC and Colombian Government Peace Talks Move Forward
By Dialogo December 21, 2012
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) stated on December 19 that the peace talks in Havana were held “on a positive note” during their first month, in which both delegations were “presenting their arguments” to put an end to the armed conflict.
“The meetings have been held on a positive note of respectful discussion. Arguments have been presented and popular concerns are being gathered,” Jesús Santrich, a guerrilla negotiator, told the press before starting the talks in Havana’s Convention Palace.
Santrich highlighted “the successful development of the Integral Agrarian Development policy forum, which concluded on December 19 in Bogotá with the participation of 1,200 delegates, and the proposals of which will be submitted to FARC and government representatives on January 8, in Havana.
During that forum, which started on December 17, “the most popular organizations have expressed their deep concern for the landownership policy of the Colombian agrarian system” and the need for “strengthening small and medium sized estates,” the insurgent added.
Since the talks started on November 19 in Havana, conversations have been aimed at the agrarian issue, the origin of the armed conflict in Colombia that has lasted for almost half a century, and which caused about 600,000 deaths, 15,000 missing, and four million displaced people, according to official data.
The agenda also includes the following topics: illicit drugs, political participation, disarmament, and victims reparations.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the conversation should conclude in November 2013 at the latest, one year after it started.