Rebel group FARC on Wednesday released proposals for greater social and political participation in cities across Colombia, mainly aimed at reducing social inequality and providing better political training.
At a press conference in the Palace of Conventions in Havana, the rebel groups’ peace delegation presented the set of proposals for the encouragement of social and political participation in cities.
The proposals are an expansion of one of the points released by the rebel group in June, in which the FARC released 10 proposals regarding their political participation.
The proposals for greater social and political participation in cities are as follows:
- Institutional designs of political and social participation in the cities for good living and urban social justice.
- Urban land use to promote democratization and political and social participation.
- Guarantees and incentives for social and political participation in cities.
- Political and social participation through urban councils of participation.
- Deepening decentralization and social and political participation in cities.
- Compensation fund to overcome social inequality, poverty, hunger and misery in the cities.
- Extraordinary measures for locations, areas and slums in conditions of poverty and misery in the cities.
In an expansion of the first point, the FARC insist that institutional designs be in place to ensure the good living of the population and the realization of urban social justice.
“Ensuring good living of the population involves providing infrastructure and corresponding provisions to give effect, in real terms, rights of the population such as political and social participation, work, education, health, housing, social security, culture, recreation, sports, water, healthy environment, access and enjoyment of public services, roads, public transport, public safety, among others.”
“Urban Social justice involves the recognition of special compensation to overcome deep inequalities within cities as well as hunger, poverty and misery, through income redistribution policies and urban spaces,” added the rebel group.
With regard to the use of urban space, the rebels seek a redistribution of land across cities.
“We aim for the equitable redistribution of overcoming space and spatial inequalities, in particular to ensuring full right to the city as well as the eradication of urban marginality and segregation,” explained the guerrillas.
To encourage greater participation in the political and electoral system in cities, the rebel group argue that a program of political training should be implemented.
“Political training includes training on participatory mechanisms, enforcement of rights, public policy, planning and budgeting, self-management techniques and community management, among others.”
Furthermore, the rebel group also seek greater decentralization in neighborhoods across Colombia’s cities, arguing that it will allow citizens of those neighborhoods to become actively involved in politics.
“We seek the deepening of political and administrative decentralization in urban centers by encouraging greater autonomy and democracy in the towns and neighborhoods,” explained the rebel group.
In an attempt to improve cities poorest neighborhoods, the FARC seek the creation of a “compensation fund” to ensure that effective resources be allocated to overcoming inequality, poverty and hunger.
“The fund will go to the towns, areas and slums who have recorded the highest rates of poverty and misery over the national average,” explained the guerrillas.
The FARC and the government have been involved in peace talks since November in order to seek a negotiated end to a conflict that has lasted almost 50 years.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.