The FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group, said Sunday it was satisfied with the progress made in ongoing peace talks with the government and asked for patience for the talks to solidify.
“We are satisfied. I don’t understand why they say the pace is slow,” chief rebel negotiator Ivan Marquez said on the day the talks ended their first six months and after government officials called on the negotiators to speed up progress.
“You have been watching the Giro d’Italia [cycle race}. Some people want us to go at this pace, but if we go at this pace, we will fail,” Marquez, whose real name is Luciano Marin, said.
Instead, “we have to approach these issues with serenity, with depth if we really want to form the solid basis to build a stable and long-lasting peace,” the rebel leader said.
Marquez told the press in Cuba that Santos’ possible reelection could actually benefit the peace talks if they are not cut short by the government, which has given the FARC another six months to come to an agreement.
According to Marquez, a reelection of Santos would “free” the peace process of “unnecessary time pressure,” adding that the FARC does not work “under the pressure of electoral and legislative terms.”
Fellow rebel leader “Simon Trinidad” had already expressed to see no objection in Santos’ cabinet shuffle is an attempt to prepare for the 2014 elections in which Santos said he hoped his “policies of peace” to be reelected.
Colombia’s peace talks started exactly half a year ago already and pretend to make an end to an almost 50-year conflict between leftist rebels and state.