Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon on Monday challenged the FARC to show signs of wanting peace and engaging in dialogue with the government.
“The ball is in the guerrilla’s court,” Garzon said. “Meanwhile, in accordance with the National Constitution, the government must continue pursuing militarily, judicially and politically all illegal armed groups.”
Garzon made this pronouncement after a meeting with Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao, who said that the government must not ignore steps that can be taken to bring both parties to the negotiating table.
“Both sides must take steps [towards peace],” Henao said. “If the government takes steps, the guerrilla must take steps as well.”
He added that the government’s conditions, that the FARC free kidnapped hostages, eliminate land mines, and end attacks with unconventional weapons, may unnecessarily impede negotiation progress that can be made.
The FARC has demanded dialogue with the government before they cease “acts of war,” while Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos refuses to sit down with the guerrillas until they cease “terroism.”