Peace negotiators of the Colombian government and the country’s largest rebel group FARC on Sunday in Cuba will present progress made in peace talks during a protocolary act in Havana.
During the official presentation, the two negotiating teams will be accompanied by diplomats from 10 countries, and delegates from Cuba and Norway who have taken part in the process as guarantors.
The negotiators will give details about the progress made in regards to negotiations on agrarian reform, the first and reportedly most fundamental topic on the five-point list of issues that — if and once agreed upon — will result in an official end of the half-a-century armed conflict between the guerrillas and the Colombian state.
Sunday is exactly nine months after the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos and the commanders of the FARC signed an agreement to initiate a peace process they hope will result in a negotiated end to the conflict that has cost hundreds of thousands of Colombians their lives.
The negotiators have spent the past six months in formal talks on agrarian reforms. Additionally, regional forums have been organized to allow civilians or social organizations to contribute proposals related to agriculture and land reform.
However, despite expressed optimism by both sides of the table, the negotiators have yet to find an agreement on the future of Colombia’s impoverished and war-torn rural areas, and have yet to proceed to the second point on the agenda, the political participation of the FARC and guarantees for political opposition.
While a vast majority of Colombians is in favor of a negotiated end of the conflict, there is strong opposition too; Critics have said the talks are held under unfavorable conditions for the government, fearing that too many compromises must be made to the FARC in order to come to an agreement.
The government has given the FARC until the end of the year to come to an agreement which will be the official end of the armed conflict. The FARC in return said that they will not be rushed and called for patience.
If successful, the conflict between the FARC and the government that’s been fought since 1964 will come to an end and the rebel group will be taken off the government’s terrorist organization’s list. However, it would not mean the absolute end to the armed conflict as the country’s second largest rebel group, the ELN, has not yet begun formal peace talks. Additionally, groups formed from the demobilized paramilitary umbrella organization AUC continue to commit acts of political violence.