Rumors had been circulating for days before Santos’ announcement on national television that the government was going to engage in peace talks with the country’s larges guerrilla group FARC, according to a press release by Reconciliacion Colombia.
The peace negotiations have led to agreements on areas such as agriculture development, political participation, and illicit drugs, and the delegates are now discussing victims reparation, the forth of six topics to be debated before a peace deal is signed.
Colombia’s government hopes to seal the peace deal in 2015. One of FARC’s negotiators Jesus Emilio Carvajalino, alias “Andres Paris,”told French news agency AFP on Tuesday that if a peace treaty is not agreed upon in six to seven months, the negotiations would lose “steam” and Colombians will loose faith. Paris also stated that the process of reaching peace is going to be settled before FARC receives political guarantees.
A July opinion poll revealed that Colombians were becoming increasingly skeptical toward the peace process ending in an agreement, and that they questioned both the FARC’s desire for peace and the president’s approach to the negotiations.
When Reconciliacion Colombia asked nine journalists and researchers to weigh in on “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of the peace talks, the majority criticized the lack of ceasefire, lamenting negotiations that take place in the middle of ongoing warfare.