All but two of the 17 points that are part of FARC’s “”revolutionary land reform” manifesto have similarity with the agrarian reform bill proposed by the Colombian government. The investigation by La Republica mapped out the 17 FARC demands against the government’s Rural Development Act.
FARC has proposed that farmers be entitled to forfeited or undeveloped lands. They have also argued that farmers be provided with technical assistance, health services, housing, education and access to markets. Evidently an overarching goal is to ensure a redistribution of land away from the large landholders, and to secure additional rights and protection for the peasantry. The government’s propsed act seems in principal to be aligned with these goals.
The two remaining areas of disagreement between the two sides are focused on debt relief to farmers and the occupation of lands by foreign companies. The draft Rural Development Act does not currently permit the confiscation of property operated by foreign companies. Moreover, the Act, which has yet to be finalized and submitted to congress, does not absolve the rural population of debt, however it does propose a range of subsidies.
The issue of land reform has long been a central issue for FARC and is the first one of the first issues up for debate at the peace talks. Delegates from the Colombian government and guerrilla group FARC are currently in the midst of phase two of the peace process in Oslo, Norway.
Other topics to be discussed in Oslo include: the political participation of FARC, illicit crops, a ceasefire and the rights of victims.
If and when an accord is reached between the two warring parties, talks regarding implementation will continue in Havana, Cuba.