Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC, currently engaged in peace talks with the government, on Wednesday published ten points regarding their political participation. The proposals include a restructuring of the state and a decentralization of government institutions.
The ten proposals are:
- Democratic restructuring of the State and a political reform
- Clear guarantees to exercise opposition and the right to govern
- Clear guarantees for guerrilla and rebel organizations, and their fighters to exercise politics in the event of a final agreement
- Democratization of information, communication, and mass media
- Stimulus for regional and territorial participation [in politics]
- Social and people’s participation in the process of public policies and planning and, especially, economic policies
- Guarantees for social and political participation of peasant, indigenous and Afrodescendant communities, as well as other excluded social sectors
- Stimulus for the social and people’s participation in processes of integration in the Americas
- Political culture for participation, peace and national reconciliation, and the right to protest and social and popular mobilization
- Convening of a National Constituent Assembly
According to the FARC, the proposals are the minimum of what they expect to reach in a partial accord that is part of a five-point agenda aimed at a final peace agreement.
In an explanation of the first two proposals on their blog, the rebel negotiators stress the necessity to restructure the state “that guarantees a democratic organization and real participation of the execution of power, strengthens public institutionality and allows an effective orientation of policies to propitiate the conditions of peace with social justice, guarantees the rights to well-being of the population, and overcomes the profound inequalities, poverty and misery.”
For the same reason the FARC proposes a political reform that “eradicates the clientelistic, corrupt, criminal and mafia-like structures and practices in the exercising of politics.”
To guarantee the political participation of the FARC and opposition organization, the rebel negotiators propose to “issue an Opposition Statute that includes political guarantees and [guarantees of] collective and individual safety to be provided by the State, the banning of practices of stigmatization, signage and persecution, financial measures and the access to information and mass media.”
Negotiators of the FARC and government began a second cycle of talks regarding the rebels’ political participation earlier this week after successfully ending negotiations over agrarian reforms. The negotiating teams announced to be discussing the issue separately before joining each other at the peace negotiation table in Havana next week.
If successful, the peace talks will end the FARC’s nearly half-a-century long war with the Colombian state.