At the end of the 15th cycle of peace talks between rebel group FARC and Colombia’s government, no agreement has been reached on the second point on the agenda: political participation.
President Juan Manuel Santos blamed the FARC Sunday for slowing down the peace process, which is close to concluding its first year.
The talks that hope to end almost 50 year of armed conflict between the guerrilla group and the state will resume October 23.
The government attacked FARC in statements saying that the rebel group needs to stop raising issues that are not and have never been a part of the agenda just to manipulate the media and public opinion.
“These negotiations are not about the political agenda of the FARC, but rather the agenda we agreed upon,” said Colombia’s chief negotiator, Humberto de la Calle.
Ivan Marquez, the guerrilla group’s second in command and chief negotiator during the peace talks, responded by saying that the government is placing obstacles for the process to be expedited.
“It is not sensible to try and show that [the FARC] is the part of the dialogue that’s slowing the peace process,” he said. “The government is not being realistic.”
The FARC also believes that the government is being overly restrictive and narrow with the issues brought up surrounding political participation.
This latest rift between the insurgents and the government only seems to further weaken the possibility of visible progress as November 19th approaches, marking the first anniversary of the start of the peace talks.
There were rumors last week that Santos may even abandon the peace talks if there is not concrete progress.