The meeting with the loyalists was held behind closed doors and the President’s Office released no information on the talks between the executive and members of the legislative branch.
However, Liberal Party politician Guillermo Rivera told press agency Colprensa that “we talked about the myths that have been coming from the opponents from the talks the government is carrying out with the guerrillas of the FARC, and the necessity that exists for congressmen to accompany the executive and help educate, as well as debunk the number of inventions with which the opposition to the government is going around the country.”
The lawmaker denied having discussed the 2014 elections and the effect the peace talks may have on the electoral poll. The possible reelection of Santos was not even mentioned, Rivera said.
Lawmakers present at the meeting
- Guillermo Rivera (Liberal Party)
- Juan Mario Laserna (Conservative Party)
- Antonio Guerra de la Espriella (Cambio Radical)
- Camilo Sánchez (Liberal Party)
- Ramiro Chavarro (Conservative Party)
- Jaime Buenahora (U Party)
- Maritza Martínez (U Party)
- José David Name (U Party)
- Rodrigo Villalba (Liberal Party)
- Plinio Olano (U Party)
- Jorge Londoño (Green Party)
The meeting between Santos and loyal lawmakers was the second of its kind; In late April, the president met with the presidents of coalition parties to seek similar active support for the peace talks.
The peace talks that began in Cuba almost half a year ago seek a negotiated end to Colombia’s nearly half-a-century armed conflict. The negotiations can count on the support of leftist organizations, but run into fierce opposition by mainly conservatives led by former President Alvaro Uribe.
Pollsters are divided about the popular support of the peace talks. Some indicate the majority of Colombians support peace talks, while others said Colombians are pessimistic about the outcome.