Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon says in a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council that the door to peace remains open to the FARC if it ceases terrorist activities, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland, before foreign ministers from around the world, Garzon maintained the government’s position that any prospective peace deal hinges upon the FARC ceasing kidnapping, use of landmines and other terrorist acts.
He reiterated the government’s demand for the release of all hostages and underage recruits before meaningful talks can get underway, which he said must be preceded by “facts and not mere words or statements.”
“We will not rest in the fight against criminal gangs, drug trafficking, organized crime and common delinquency,” he said, noting the efforts of the state and armed forces to bring an end to the conflict.
The politician’s speech also addressed the government’s desire to strengthen human rights policy in the country, dismissing any notion that this is due to “fear of criticism” or because of the free trade agreement with the U.S., but saying that it is “simply the government’s political decision.”
President Santos stated after the recent FARC hostage releases that the “door is closed” for any peace agreements until the FARC complies with the government’s demands to halt terrorist activities.
Despite the difference in semantics, the government’s criteria for conflict resolution with the FARC is consistent with previous statements.