President Santos once again asked the people of Colombia for patience and support in the ongoing peace process with the FARC rebel group, during a ceremony in the coastal town of Santa Marta on Monday.
Santos has repeatedly campaigned in favor of the Havana peace talks, one of the defining policy achievement of his presidency. And now with the recent announcement of the second of six proposed negotiation agreements, the president is making his argument again.
The new call came during a speech about social and economic development. Santos said growing social programs is a necessary step for Colombia to “free itself from chains,” calling the armed conflict that has mired the country for nearly 50 years another “chain” that needs to be broken in order for the country to “prosper.”
Santos implied that only a unified effort would be enough to bring an end to what he called “a war between sons of the same nation.”
“This is not my peace, neither is it the government’s peace. This is your peace – the peace of Colombia’s people – and that is why we need all of us to support this quest for peace.”
He also referred to opponents of the peace talks asking, “How can they not want peace? A country that has lived the last fifty years in war can’t want to continue with this war. Listen, those of you that are against peace: the people want peace, the people want peace!”
One of the most outspoken opponents of the ongoing peace talks is Colombia‘s former President Uribe – who recently tried to stir anti-peace talk sentiments by leaking photos of some of the FARC‘s delegation members “relaxing” on a boat during the negotiations in Cuba.
Peace talks have been developing in Havana, Cuba, for almost 12 months now.
The Colombian government and FARC have agreed on the first two of ongoing peace talks’ six total points up until now — agrarian reform and political participation — leaving the issues drug trafficking, victims’ rights, demobilization and implementation left to be discussed.
- Presidente Santos pide a todos los colombianos apoyo al proceso de paz (President’s Office)