Colombia’s prosecutor general has suspended 191 arrest warrants against 27 FARC guerrillas to help facilitate peace talks between the insurgents and the government.
Of the 191 arrest warrants being temporarily lifted, 132 were against lead FARC negotiator Luciano Marin, alias “Ivan Marquez,” for crimes relating to hostage-taking, terrorism, rebellion and kidnapping.
Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre has also suspended two arrest warrants against high-profile FARC fighter Tanja Nijmeijer. The Dutch woman was added to the rebel negotiating team at the last minute, supposedly to assist with translation.
The suspensions are only effective in the negotiating spaces of Oslo and Havana. “It is a temporary suspension and will only last during the…negotiation process in Havana…and in places designated by the High Commissioner for Peace,” claimed Montealegre.
Representatives from the Colombian government and rebel group FARC are currently engaged in phase two of peace talks just north of the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Phase three of the peace process is expected to commence mid-November in Havana.
If any of the insurgents stray from these designated areas and try to enter Colombia they will still be liable for arrest. “If any member of the 29 representatives go to a site not authorized by the government and the High Commissioner for Peace… the arrest warrants will still be applicable,” said Montealegre.