Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced that peace talks between the government and the nation’s largest rebel group the FARC have entered their final stage, reported Colombia’s W Radio late on Thursday.
President Santos praised the progress being made between the FARC and the government and indicated that the peace talks, which have been ongoing in Havana, Cuba since November 2012, have entered “the final stretch.”
The President made his comments from Colombia’s southwest state of Huila, in the run up to Sunday’s second and final round of election for President.
“And why do I say this?” asked Santos, “because of the FARC’s recognition that they are victimizers, of course they are victimizers, and they acknowledge that their victims were the last obstacle for entering the fourth point [out of 10 point victims’ rights agreement], to solve the problems of the victims, of their rights, their rights to justice, to the truth, and to reparation.”
What the president didn’t mention was that the Colombian government also took responsibility for human rights abuses during the 50-year armed conflict.
President Santos also addressed recent proposals of exploratory peace talks with Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group, the ELN, which came into fruition last week.
“On the other hand, because we advance in an exploratory phase of dialogues with the ELN (…) it’s the same thing we did with the FARC. In any armed conflict that seeks a solution, perhaps the most difficult thing is to agree on points of an agenda, over whether there is to be an understanding, an end to conflict,” said Santos.
Peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC have been going for more than a year and there are currently discussing with the issue of victims’ right.
Agreements have been made on three out of six points towards an overall peace agreement.