The former President of Costa Rica has said that the world is “bored” with Colombia’s internal conflict, local media reported on Tuesday.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, Oscar Arias, a former winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was speaking at the University of Bucaramanga, in the department of Santander.
“I have repeated many times, the world does not have a radar post in the Colombian conflict and is instead worried about events in Egypt, the Middle East, Syria and Iran,” insisted Arias.
“It (Colombia’s internal conflict) bored us. 50 years of internal conflict is meaningless. Marxism has been dead and buried by the Chinese, Russians, Poles, Romanians and Hungarians,” added the former president.
Arias maintained that he had little hope for the current peace talks, stating that negotiations between the FARC and government, which have been ongoing since November, have “taken too long.”
The former Nobel Peace Prize winner also insisted that peace negotiations should begin with a ceasefire.
“I had my doubts how the dialogue began. My experience in Central America is that the most important thing was to start with a cease fire, as this would build confidence among the warring parties,” added the former president.
No such cease fire has been enacted in Colombia, as the army and rebels continually clash while the two delegations negotiate in Havana, Cuba.
Regarding the government’s proposal to hold a referendum on a potential peace agreement, Arias dismisses the notion.
“To my knowledge Central America, Northern Ireland and South Africa reached peace agreements without referendums,” said the former President.
Negotiations between the two delegations paused briefly on Friday after the guerrillas asked to examine the government’s proposed referendum over an eventual deal. The talks resumed on Monday.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.