Govt., FARC end 15th round of talks

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have wrapped up a 15th round of peace negotiations, accusing each other of limiting progress at talks.

The talks between the two sides ended on Sunday in the Cuban capital Havana.

“It makes no sense to try to paint the insurgency as the side of the dialogue that is holding back the pace of the (peace) process,” the FARC said in a statement on the same day.

On Saturday, Colombian chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle blamed the FARC for deliberately stalling the talks, saying, “Since these conversations began it has been the government delegation that has insisted that these talks advance more quickly toward an agreement.”

He also said that daily media briefings by the rebel group were turning the public opinion of Colombians against talks.

œThe negotiations are not about the political agenda of the FARC, but on the agreed agenda items. By going down this route, what they have achieved is confusing the Colombian people about the purpose of the talks. This has made them (the peace talks) lose support in the opinions of the public,” he added.

Talks between the FARC rebels and the Colombian government kicked off in Havana in November 2012. The talks recess and resume every few weeks as clashes between the two sides continue.

After almost one year of talks, the two sides have reached agreement on one key issue, land reform. Four others issues, which still remain unsolved, are FARC™s participation in politics, an end to alleged drug trafficking, turning over arms, and compensating the victims of the insurgency.

FARC is Latin America’s oldest insurgent group and has been fighting the government since 1964.

Bogota estimates that 600,000 people have been killed, and some three million others have been internally displaced by the fighting.

The rebel organization is thought to have around 8,000 fighters operating across a large swathe of the eastern jungles of the Andean nation.


Copyright: Press TV