FARC Orders Ceasefire ahead of Peace Talks with Colombian Government

By Dialogo
November 21, 2012

The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) ordered a unilateral ceasefire for two months to start at midnight on November 19, at the beginning of the peace talks with the Colombian government in Havana, in order to end the conflict that has extended for almost 50 years, declared their second-in-command Iván Márquez.

“The FARC secretariat orders all guerrilla units throughout the country to cease all offensive military operations against the public force, as well as any sabotage actions against public and private infrastructures,” said Márquez while reading a press release.

Several hours later, Colombian Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón, responded that the Army would maintain their operations against the FARC during the peace talks, as President Juan Manuel Santos had previously stated.

The guerrilla leader announced the FARC’s decision moments before the peace talks began in Havana’s Convention Center, where the press was not allowed to attend.

Márquez stated that this unilateral measure taken by the communist FARC “is a contribution to strengthen the necessary atmosphere of understanding, so that the parties can reach the goals desired by all Colombian citizens by means of the talks.”

However, Minister Pinzón reiterated that the Army will maintain its counterinsurgency operations.

“This is a very clear stand by the Public Forces: to continue working decisively to pursue these individuals that have violated all kinds of codes, standards, and that have threatened the lives and honor of Colombian citizens,” highlighted Pinzón in a press conference.

“I hope they keep their word, but in reality, history shows that this terrorist organization has never been honest about anything,” he criticized.

The government chief of negotiations, Humberto de la Calle, as well as President Santos, had declared repeatedly that the Army would keep its operations during the peace talks.