Colombia Peace Talks Resume in Cuba

HAVANA TIMES —  The Colombian government and the FARC resumed their peace process today in Cuba after a break of over a month, amid growing expectations to reach an agreement on the first point of the dialogue, the subject of land and agriculture.

“We came today to Havana with the goal to reach decisions,” said the leader of the government’s peace delegation, former Vice President Humberto de la Calle. The two negotiating teams met today as usual at the Havana Convention Center.

The parties had twice postponed the resumption of the peace talks, originally scheduled for early April, noted dpa news.

The first of five points to be agreed upon during the peace talks, the agrarian issue, is seen as key to advancing the process. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), born in the 60’s as a guerrilla group, call the rural issue a key to resolving the conflict.

“We hope that the FARC spokespersons are ready to build a consensus on the agrarian issues to move to the next item on the agenda,” said De la Calle. “We want results,” he added.

The FARC delegation has received in recent weeks new members. Among them is Jorge Torres Victoria, alias “Pablo Catatumbo” one of the military commanders of the guerrillas.

“Catatumbo” is a member of the Central Secretariat of the FARC, the high command of the organization.

The two parties have also called for a citizen’s forum in Colombia at the end of April to prepare for the next item on the agenda, political participation.

The Colombian government and the FARC opened their talks in mid-October in Oslo, Norway to try to end more than a half century of conflict in the South American country.  The process moved permanently to Cuba mid November.