Uruguay’s much-respected former president, Jose Mujica, said Tuesday he will join Colombia’s ongoing peace talks after he was asked to by FARC rebels.
The insurgent group reportedly requested the involvement of the left-leaning Uruguayan politician in a commission supporting the endeavor for peace in Colombia.
Mujica in response expressed his support for the negotiations, “I pledged to collaborate, because I understand this is a progressive cause.”
“Achieving peace where for fifty years rifles have spoken, it is not only in favor of Colombia; it is for our Americas,” said the former president.
Mujica did not reveal the specifics of his involvement.
In June, Mujica claimed the Colombian peace talks to be the political event that is “most important in Latin America.”
Uruguay’s advocacy of the Colombian peace talks with the FARC has been seen in the appointment of Defense Minister Jose Bayardi, as a delegate of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), serving on a committee responsible for the preparation of an eventual ceasefire.
Former president, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, acquired almost celebrity status across the continent during his political reign in between 2010-2015, famously living by his principles, forgoing the luxury of the Presidential Palace and traveling in a beat-up VW Beetle.
Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter himself, has had previous involvement with the FARC delegation in Cuba. In April of this year, intentions of the former president acting as a mediator in the talks were quashed when the guerrillas reported there would in fact be no mediators.
The Colombian State and the FARC have been locked in an internal armed conflict since 1964, leaving 260,000 Colombians dead and over six million displaced. The warring parties have been negotiating a peace deal in Havana, Cuba since November 2012.
The final peace deal will be signed by 23 March 2016, according to both sides.