Negotiators for the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group will not meet President Juan Manuel Santos’ goal of finalizing a peace accord by the end of this year, the leader of the guerrillas said Monday.
The peace process, which began in November 2012, will be delayed by the complex nature of the debate on the fourth point of the peace agenda dealing with the recognition of - and reparations to - the victims of the conflict, Rodrigo Londoño, known as “Timochenko,” said on the FARC Web site.
The agenda calls for the creation of a so-called historic commission made up of six experts from each party and two rapporteurs, who will be tasked with establishing the causes and factors that contributed to the duration of the strife and the impact on the population.
“The Historic Commission will be tasked with elaborating the reconstruction of the conflict within a four-month period ... starting on Aug. 21 ... Thus, if we only take that into account it’s easy to conclude that the time periods for this year don’t work,” Timochenko said.
Although “we would all like things to be done as soon as possible,” the agenda’s issues must be handled with “objectivity,” the rebel leader said, noting that, apart from the victims of the conflict, there still remains the last point in the talks concerning the end of hostilities between the warring sides.
“It must also be taken into account that the issue of laying down arms and the bilateral cease-fire are not going to be simple,” he warned.
Delegates from the Santos government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, on Tuesday will begin debate on the more than 6.5 million victims of the violence in Colombia over the last five decades.
“It will have to be explained to them what happened, why they were treated in this way, and then those responsible for that will have to be brought to light. The victims will have to have the satisfaction of having explained to them what happened, whatever the causes, and that needs to be clear not only for them but for all Colombians,” the guerrilla leader said.
The FARC chief said that the guerrillas’ intention is not to leave Havana - the venue for the talks - “until a definitive accord is reached.”