Following a national forum on the FARC’s future political participation, more than 400 proposals will be handed over to the rebel and government negotiators in Havana, Cuba.
Fabrizo Hochschild, a United Nations (U.N.) representative in Colombia, said there was common ground to be found in the proposals, such as turning the FARC into a political movement, while pointing out a varied participation of “civil society, political parties and social movements.”
The U.N. representative said that the forum showed “a broad space of agreement, where there is an enormous support for the peace process and recognition of the necessity, in one way or another, to transform the guerrillas into a political movement and also…the necessity of strengthening the Colombian democracy.”
Alejo Vargas, a director at Bogota’s National University, highlighted the “broad participation of the Colombians who expressed their proposals, their points of view and their initiatives. All of this will arrive at the conversation tables in Havana as an important instrument for the construction of accords between the government and the FARC.”
During the forum, messages of support from world leaders, such as the ex-Secretary General of the U.N., Kofi Annan, Nobel peace prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, were presented.
The FARC’s post-conflict political participation is the second point of contention in the peace talks between the rebels and the government. However, the warring parties are yet to reach an agreement on the first point of the agenda – comprehensive agrarian reform. Rebel negotiator “Jesus Santrich” said Tuesday a written agreement on the agrarian issue could be reached by the end of May.