Negotiators for the government and Colombia’s rebel group FARC on Wednesday yet again postponed the continuation of peace talks in Cuba’s capital of Havana, amid rumors of tensions in the rebel ranks.
According to the negotiation teams, the peace talks will now be resumed on April 23, and not on the 17 of April, as was previously decided upon. Official reasons for the postponement included a hectic schedule and reunions with various international institutions.
The warring parties are expected to reach a written agreement on comprehensive agrarian reform, the first and perhaps most controversial point of the negotiation agenda. In early April, the negotiators failed to reach an agreement on the subject, citing “differences” which prompted the two sides to “work separately” to resolve the issues.
The FARC’s new negotiation team is composed of “Pablo Catatumbo,” the leader of the organization’s Western Bloc, Victoria Sandino Palmira, of the FARC’s Adan Izquierdo Joint Command (formerly known as the Central Bloc), which operates in Tolima and other central regions. “Freddy Gonzalez” and “Lucas Carvajal,” two other new negotiators in Havana, were also picked up by helicopters in the Tolima department. Meanwhile, “Sergio Ibañez” and “Laura Villa,” members of the FARC’s Eastern Bloc, joined the delegation in Havana last week. Both of them are considered close to senior FARC commander “Carlos Antionio Lozada,” who is alleged to be one of the prime opponents against the peace talks.
From the old negotiation team, “Marcos Calarca,” known as the FARC’s “foreign minister” due to his international profile, is still present in Havana. It remains unclear which members from the old FARC team still remain on the island.
According to an analyst for newspaper El Tiempo, Marisol Gomes Giraldo, the profile of the new negotiation team could be an attempt by top FARC commander “Timochenko” to appease dissident factions within the organization. Notably, the FARC’s economically and militarily powerful Southern Bloc is still unrepresented in Havana, although Joaquin Gomez, the Bloc’s leader, issued a statement in support of the talks last week.
“Ivan Marquez,” the leading rebel negotiator in Havana, could be absent from the new round of talks. On Friday Marquez, dressed in military uniform, addressed the Greek Communist Party (KKE), from “the mountains of Colombia,” perhaps indicating he was no longer participating at the peace talks in Havana, Cuba.
- Gobierno y Farc modifican fecha de reanudación de diálogos (Caracol Radio)
- Arribaron a la Habana nuevos Delegados de Paz de las FARC-EP (Resistencia Colombia, FARC)
- COMUNICADO (FARC official homepage)
- ‘Timochenko’ ordena la mesa / Análisis (El Tiempo)
- Delegación de paz FARC-EP_Saludo al Partido Comunista de Grecia (FARC Video)