On Sunday the peace negotiations taking place in Havana between the Colombian government and the left-wing guerrilla group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) came to an end when both sides could not come to an agreement regarding the saturated issue of political participation.
Both sides ended the 15th round peace negotiations after the parties accused each other of slowing the pace of the talks. Negotiations have been in process for 11 months with only one agreement being reached. Colombian newspaper El Espectador quoted Humber de la Calle, chief negotiator for the government, as saying: “The negotiations are not about FARC’s political position but on the agreed agenda.” The comment came as a result of an earlier government accusation that FARC was trying to confuse the public by raising issues that are not part of the negotiations.
Iván Márquez, FARC’s chief negotiator for the peace delegation, responded to the criticism in a press conference by saying: “It is not wise to attempt to show the insurgency as the ones who slow down the rhythms for the progress of the process.” Mr. Márquez continued his allegations by saying that the government: “Is not realistic when they want to impose themselves unilaterally on all decisions pertaining to crucial issues.”
Peace talks between the two groups began on November 19, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. Nelson Acosta from Reuters reports that: “Polls in Colombia show the population is tiring of the talks, which have dragged on for 11 months with only a partial accord on agrarian reform, the first point of a six-point agenda.” FARC was founded in 1964 with the objective of overthrowing the Colombian government which it sees as an arm of U.S. imperialism. FARC considers itself a peasant army and it is the Western Hemisphere’s oldest and largest guerrilla group.