The 8th round of government-FARC peace talks concluded on Friday, with the two parties still unable to come to an agreement on agrarian reform.
Lead FARC negotiator “Ivan Marquez” said that there has yet to be an agreement on agrarian reform, the first of six points on the peace talks agenda. When asked whether it was possible for the two sides to reach an agreement this month, Marquez said was “possible”, but could not answer “categorically.”
Nevertheless, Marquez stated that the peace talks were progressing well. “The FARC peace delegation feels satisfied with the achievements we are solidifying and which are materializing in our joint efforts [with the Colombian government towards a peace agreement].”
The guerrilla leader also said that the FARC would be willing to review any error made in the development of the armed conflict with respect to its victims, as a “function of reconciliation.”
In addition, the guerrilla leader said that the FARC would be on the lookout for the peace proposals that were submitted as part of a public forum on the possibility of the guerrilla group’s political participation, which they expect to receive on May 20.
The FARC’s post-conflict political participation is the second point of contention in the peace talks between the rebels and the government. However, the warring parties must first reach an agreement on the first point of the agenda – comprehensive agrarian reform.
The rebels have proposed giving 20 million hectares of Colombia’s land to low-income farmers and the displaced, and have also demanded a limit on the property of big landowners. However, the government’s lead negotiator, Humberto De la Calle, said that no land would be taken from existing landowners to be given to the poor. Despite such disagreements however, both the government and the FARC have stated that the peace negotiations have progressed in a constructive fashion.