A series of delays had prevented Marquez joining the rest of the FARC negotiating team earlier but now it seems they have the green light to travel to Norway’s capital Oslo to meet with the Colombian government and officially begin the historic peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the country’s 48-year old armed conflict.
While the Colombian government refused to comment on the reasons for the delay, FARC’s supreme leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, aliases “Timochenko” and “Timoleon Jimenez,” announced that the late arrival was due to the completion process involving the suspension of arrest warrants.
“Before speculating we prefer to believe that the processing of the suspension of arrest warrants has had unforeseen delays,” he told RCN TV and FM Radio.
Timochenko was referring to the agreement that the guerrillas will not be detained when leaving their native Colombia because of active red notice alerts for their international capture.
He added, “It was jointly agreed that the installation of this would be done in the first half of October, we accepted the date of October 17 assuming that the government estimates within processing and logistics were correct.”
It was announced earlier in the month that international police organization Interpol had suspended international arrest warrants for FARC leaders set to travel to Norway, however the process has been delayed several times for the red notice alerts to be officially cancelled for all negotiators.
It was expected that the government would only fly to Norway’s capital Oslo when they had received confirmation that members of the country’s largest guerrilla group were complete in Havana.
Representatives from both the Colombian government and FARC are expected to give a news conference Wednesday to inaugurate the latest attempt at peace. The last effort to reach a negotiated peace agreement failed ten years ago.