Mockus: Dialogue with FARC is unlikely

Green Party presidential candidate Antanas Mockus says that he considers a dialogue with the FARC guerrilla group to be unlikely, due to their policy of kidnapping.

Speaking to Caracol Radio, Mockus, who a recent poll put at second place in the upcoming presidential election, discussed dialogue with the FARC, Venezuelan relations, health care reform, the SENA and ICBF and a possible subway in Bogota.

The candidate said that the FARC’s current attitude makes holding a dialogue unlikely.

“I see dialogue as unlikely, the guerrilas have to change their language,” said Mockus. “They have become slaves to kidnapping. In [the proposed humanitarian] exchange they want to feel like the state and we are not going to give them signals of encouragement,” he said.

Mockus also spoke about relations with Venezuela, calling for bilateral solutions that would “respect the Venezuelan process and be carried out through institutions.”

If the Green Party politician wins the presidency, he said that tax reforms to boost the health sector would be a priority.

Mockus denied that he would end the SENA (a scheme offering education for technical jobs) and the ICBF (a children’s welfare organisation) if he became president.

Faced with a Congress that would be mostly opposition, Mockus said it would be possible to find common ground.

He said that a proposed subway line in Bogota was worth further discussion, arguing that it would be possible to build six branches of the TransMilenio bus system for the same price as one subway line.

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