The meeting is a major break-through after the crisis that followed a referendum on Sunday, in which Colombia’s voters barely rejected the agreement that had been negotiated since 2011.
While the deal had already been signed the Monday before and the FARC’s demobilization and disarmament was already on its way, the shock vote stopped the peace process in its tracks.
The referendum results shocked Colombia and the rest of the world after Colombia’s notoriously unreliable pollsters had predicted a comfortable win for Santos.
But the president is unpopular, very unpopular even, and among the Colombian people exists a widespread resentment towards the FARC over tens of thousands of war crimes and human rights violations committed by the group during its 52-year war against the state.
Since the talks were made public in 2012, Uribe has consistently objected to the peace talks, has refused any cooperation and has so far refused to even talk to his successor.
Members of his party are even in legal trouble for illegally spying on the talks in their attempt to undermine them.
The stakes for Uribe are high and the president is playing a risky game, because with the reopening of the negotiations his own presidential immunity could be put on the table.
This immunity was reportedly negotiated by Santos personally in an attempt to quell his predecessor’s ongoing opposition to and lack of collaboration with the talks.
The war crime claims implicating the former president and a number of his allies could be transferred to the transitional justice system that is part of the peace process beginning Tuesday last week, but was stopped in its tracks on Sunday.
An additional Truth Commission could reveal more about Uribe’s responsibility in the widespread human rights violations and war crimes committed when he was president.
If Uribe loses his presidential immunity, he could be criminally charged for the systematic killing of civilians to inflate the military’s success rates that become commonplace when Uribe was president.
Courts are already waiting to deliver evidence to the transitional justice system of Uribe’s alleged complicity in a 1997 massacre.
Uribe’s brother is already in jail for allegedly forming a paramilitary group in the 1980s and his cousin, a former senator, was sentenced to prison for conspiring with paramilitary death squads for his political benefit.