Farc and colombian government continue peace talks

Farc and Colombian government continue peace talks

Over the weekend, their delegation reviewed president juan manuel santos’ proposal to put a possible peace treaty to a referendum vote.

On monday, the farc rebels rejected this initiative: "a peace treaty is not something that can be solved in a unilateral way," said the guerrilla’s chief negotiator, ivan marquez, in havana. Because santos wants to link the referendum to next year’s parliamentary or presidential election, the rebel group apparently fears the leader could use the vote to his political advantage.

The farc, on the other hand, are demanding the convening of a constitutional assembly to vote on the peace treaty. With the push for a referendum, the government has violated the basic treaty on peace talks, farc leader timoleon jimenez had written in a statement published sunday.

In a joint declaration on monday, delegations announced a national forum on illegal drugs. Under the auspices of the UN, the colombians were to hold several public debates at the end of september and the beginning of october to discuss the future of narcotics.

The farc always emphasize that there must be an economic alternative for coca farmers and more state investment in the countryside. At present, however, the rebels themselves are financing their armed struggle largely through the drug trade. In addition to the narcotics problem, the disarmament of the rebels and the compensation of the victims of the decades-long conflict are also under discussion.

At the same time as the meeting in havana, government forces are taking action against the farc’s military arm in colombia. The militar has now located a rebel base in the departamento meta, as the militar announced on monday. The government forces are moving to an underground camp that would have provided space for 160 guerrilla fighters. According to an army commander, this is a main camp including sleeping cabins, medical care and high-powered explosive devices.

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