FARC Praises Colombia’s “Regional Peace Tables”

By Dialogo
November 30, 2012

The Colombian insurgent group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) praised the “Regional Peace Tables” created by the Colombian Congress, stating that they guarantee civil participation in the peace talks between rebels and the government being held in Havana, on November 28.

“We have strongly insisted on the fact that civil participation is the main protagonist of a process that we have decided to take on,” said the group in a statement read by Commander Ricardo Téllez, before starting the day’s peace talks. “Our consideration of the Regional Peace Talks, as one of many initiatives for the people of Colombia to participate and decide about peace with social justice in the nation, has the open hearts of those who really long for reconciliation and the end of war,” Téllez added, whose real name is Rodrigo Granda.

The Regional Peace Tables have gathered the opinions from thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations in several Colombian provinces, an initiative of the Peace Commission from both chambers of the Colombian Congress.

The first phase in the Regional Tables has come to an end, but they will resume in February, and their proposals will be submitted to government and guerrilla delegations in Havana.

After praising “the plurality of the participants in each of the Regional Peace Tables,” the FARC was urged to participate in the Comprehensive Agrarian Development Policy Forum that will be held December 17-19 in Bogotá, as a result of the first agreement reached in the Havana talks.

The first round of talks that seek to end the armed conflict of almost half a century has been devoted to the agrarian issue. The agenda also includes illicit drugs, political participation, disarmament, and reparations for victims.

Neither the government, nor the FARC have released the topics discussed in this round, which ended on November 28.

The government delegation, that has remained silent since the talks started on November 19, is headed by former Colombian Vice President Humberto de la Calle.