The majority of Colombia’s political parties on Tuesday expressed support of “exploratory conversations” between President Juan Manuel Santos‘ government and guerrilla group FARC to move towards formal peace talks.
Various political parties of the country have made it know that they back President Santos’ announcement Monday confirming his governments’ agreement to talk to the largest guerrilla group of the country to seek a negotiated end to the country’s nearly 50-year armed conflict.
Congress recently approved the legal framework for peace, giving the government the tools it needs to come to an agreement with the FARC and look for an end to almost half a decade of armed conflict.
President of the Liberal Party, Simon Gaviria, reiterated that the collective would accompany president Santos towards the process of peace.
Jorge Londoño of the Green Party also endorsed the accompaniment of Santos in the process saying, “it’s legitimate that Santos open the door and use the key, the key towards peace.”
Senator Juan Carlos Velez of the U Party said he thinks it will be a difficult process though saying, “I see this as a difficult process because here there is a responsibility from the point of view of international justice, the guerrillas have to go to jail and they can’t be elected; equally they are going to have to respond to charges of drug trafficking that they have in the United States and that will implicate their possible extradition.”
Though there are skeptics such as Velez as to the final outcome of the peace talks, the majority of Colombia’s political parties remain hopeful.
Congress president Roy Barreras of the U Party, a coalition party divided between lawmakers loyal to Santos and those loyal to predecessor Alvaro Uribe, said to reporters in light of the government’s announcement to proceed with “prudence and caution.”
The Conservative Party, the most skeptic of the success of peace talks, did not make public statements following Santos’ announcements.
However ex-president Alvaro Uribe, who has always been against negotiating with the FARC, reacted with indignation at the announcement, accusing Santos of, “abandoning the security and substituting it by negotiating with terrorists.”