“The person who indirectly communicated with me was the number one of the guerrillas, their leader,” Santos was quoted as saying by his website.
According to the Colombian head of state, he agreed to negotiate with peace with the country’s largest guerrilla group under the condition that talks would be “entirely confidential until we both decided when to go public.”
Santos admitted that the ongoing, secret talks caused a dilemma at the moment the armed forces had surrounded Cano and were able to take the FARC’s supreme leader out.
“I had to take a very difficult decision: We have this leader surrounded. What do we do? I said: ‘Rules are rules. If we want to be successful we have to be clear about the rules of the game and persevere,” after which Santos said he gave the green light to kill Cano.
“These decisions were very difficult, but I am certain that it is one of the reasons we are negotiating now,” the president added.
According the The Associated Press, Santos said to be hopeful the formal talks that begin in Norway on October 8 will be successful and that both the government and the FARC are keen to bring an end to Latin America’s longest armed conflict.
“The conflict with FARC needs to have a negotiated way out. They have the will; we have the will,” the president said.