Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Friday that to obtain peace in his country, more is needed than just an agreement with rebel groups who have been fighting the state for nearly 50 years.
While talking at the Summit of Governors, Santos said that the ending of the conflict “is a first phase.” Additionally, the reparation of victims and the return of stolen land to displaced farmers are crucial for a lasting peace.
The participation of Colomba’s different regions will play a crucial role, the president told the country’s 32 governors. “You are going to play an important role. Without your labor it is not possible. Because of this the issue of the victims and the restitution of lands must be present in your development plans,” said Santos.
“We have to do this together. As a society we have the obligation to do this, we are ordered to by the constitution. But we also do it because it comes from the heart,” said Santos.
Respresentatives of the president’s administration have been involved in “exploratory talks” with the FARC regarding a negotiated end to Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict.