After a meeting with senators from the U and Conservative parties, the ex-president reversed his earlier stance and said he accepted that lower members of illegal groups like the FARC must be allowed to be politically active as long as they had not held commanding roles.
Conservative senator Hernan Andrade, a proponent of the peace talks, went further than Uribe, saying that not only the FARC’s rank and file, but also its mid-ranked members, should be allowed political participation.
In allowing for FARC representation in peace negotiations, Uribe has reversed his earlier stance, when he strongly disputed the terms of the “Framework for Peace” bill put forward by his successor Juan Manuel Santos, claiming the bill would grant amnesty to terrorists.
The former president has frequently been criticized for the peace talks his administration held with paramilitary organization AUC, responsible for the majority of human rights violations in the history of Colombia’s conflict. Critics have accused Uribe and his political allies of having ties to the AUC.
The Santos administration has proposed legislation to create a legal framework for possible future peace talks with illegal armed groups active in Colombia’s 48-year old armed conflict.