As the peace talks between Colombia’s largest guerrilla group and the government prepare to take a week-long break, the lead government negotiator on Monday said that the rebels should not come up with new proposals and instead stick to the predetermined principles he claimed both sides agreed to months ago.
The government’s contention with the FARC‘s alleged deviation from the peace agenda has to do with the rebel’s lead negotiator publishing several agrarian reform proposals that supposedly were not part of the plan.
“Some of the proposals from the guerrilla, like for example, the theme of mining…or the idea to stop the construction of megaprojects for electric power generation, are simply not part of the discussions,” read a government press release.
“The FARC has publicized various proposals about different themes…One thing is what the FARC says to the public [about] their platform…and another thing is what they say at the [negotiating] table. We [the government] strictly protect the agenda [set] in the General Agreement and we will not open the conversation to new themes raised by the FARC in their platform,” said the government’s lead negotiator.
De la Calle also demanded that the FARC release the three members of the Colombian armed forces the rebels are currently holding hostage. The FARC on Sunday said that they would “take steps to release them.”
“Today we terminate a new cycle of negotiations. We advance based on…[the] concrete themes of the agenda’s first point, [which is] the politics of integrated rural development and some specified themes included in this [larger theme], like access to land and formalization of property,” said the government negotiator. “In this moment [we begin] the final phase of the process, [which is] the construction of a stable and lasting peace with the FARC.”
Talks are set to resume again on February 18.