Peace talks between Colombia’s government and the country’s largest rebel group FARC will not begin October 8 as planned because judicial authorities have been delayed in suspending arrest warrants of rebel negotiators, newspaper El Espectador reported Saturday.
According to the Bogota daily, the beginning of the formal talks have been delayed two to seven days because prosecutors apparently need more time to clear the way for the negotiators, who together are facing 340 arrest warrants and convictions.
“The issue has proven to be very complex which the FARC members themselves have understood,” an anonymous government official told El Espectador.
A number of the FARC’s negotiators are in Cuba where they have been negotiating with government representatives since February. Others are still in Colombia where hostilities between state forces and the insurgent group have not ceased.
The official stressed that the delay has not caused any crisis and did not affect both warring parties’ will to negotiate a way out of Colombia’s 48-year-old conflict.