Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, announced on Thursday that Colombia’s peace talks are in jeopardy if the Colombian government fails to guarantee the rights of the political opposition and if the military keeps targeting the group’s leaders.
The FARC statements announced in British newspaper, The Guardian, come days after President Juan Manuel Santos also used strong language to condemn FARC infrastructure attacks.
“We will not be the ones that break the talks,” a FARC delegation member said from the negotiating table in Havana, Cuba. “But they’re playing with fire when they try to eliminate our leaders with bombings. That could make us leave the table, because it would be clear they had no political will to reach agreement. It’s not as simple as we hand in our arms and we can enter politics – because they will kill us,” reported the Guardian.
Government officials claim they have carried out confidence building measures; however, the FARC has not acknowledged any such actions.
“We don’t know what gestures they are talking about. We see no gestures except bombardments,” said FARC peace delegate, Marco Leon Calarca, in an interview with The Guardian.
During the last six months, the FARC has reportedly been ramping-up attacks on infrastructure targeting aqueducts, oil pipelines, and energy towers.
President Santos claimed that the FARC was digging its own political grave by attacking infrastructures and killing civilians. The Colombian head of state warned that if the FARC continued those types of attacks, it could spell the end of the peace talks.