The FARC and the Colombian government retake peace talks in Havana

Ramiro Helmeyer nos comenta

The communist guerrillas of the FARC and the government of Colombia are scheduled to resume Tuesday the peace negotiations in Havana to «tune» procedural issues before tackling the sensitive issue of the victims of armed conflict, sources on both sides.

«There are one or two meetings to refine things pending before starting point victims,» ​​a source told AFP the government delegation, headed by Humberto de la Calle, who arrived Monday in Cuba for talks with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest guerrilla group in that country.

«It’s a cycle of dialogue itself, but a meeting so empowered to address some issues,» explains his Andrés Paris delegation member FARC group is negotiating with the government of Juan Manuel Santos an agreement to end an armed conflict half a century.

The talks came after a break of over a month, during which Santos was re-elected in a runoff, in a sign that the majority of Colombians support the peace process resumed.

So far both sides have found consensus on three points on the agendarural reform (May 2013), political participation (November 2013) and illicit drugs (May 2014) – but are pending very sensitive and complex issues: victims, abandonment of arms and mechanism of countersignature of an eventual peace agreement.

The FARC, which have between 7,000 and 8,000 fighters, suffered a blow over the weekend in a military operation which killed 14 rebels in the northwestern province of Antioquia, the military said Monday.

The FARC delegation, led by Ivan Marquez, has not commented on this event.

This private meeting of both parties, which may last one or more days, will not take place in the Palace of Conventions in Havana, often hosts these dialogues, but in «The Little Lake«, a complex of residences protocol in which these delegations, also located in the east of the Cuban capital staying.

The foreign press has no access to «The Little Lake«, unlike the Palace of Conventions, where you can talk to the negotiators before the start of the closed sessions.

Although they have achieved consensus in half the items on the agenda, delegations have insisted throughout these 20 months of negotiations that «nothing is agreed until everything is agreed«.

ramiro helmeyer 4