The FARC’s chief negotiator in Havana on Wednesday praised a deal that opens the possibility for Colombia’s largest rebel group to become a political party.
“Ivan Marquez” called the agreement with the Colombian government “perhaps one of the most important achievements so far” in the ongoing peace talks taking place in Cuba.
The deal, of which the content was not immediately revealed, “gives us Colombians the possibility to begin opening the doors to a true democracy,” the rebel commander said at a press conference in the capital Havana.
The accord focuses on the FARC’s political participation, the second of six scheduled points in negotiations that seek to bring an end to almost 50 years of violence between the Colombian state and the rebels.
Referring to widespread protests that took place while the FARC and government negotiators were negotiating, Marquez said Colombia is living a “spring of dreams of justice. Above all, the poorest and the dispossessed have taken to the streets to tell their leaders that they can’t continue ignoring them, that the destiny of the country depends on the participation of the entire population and not just a handful of privileged oligarchs who have seized it for looting and favoring multinationals.”
“Colombia is living a spring of dreams of justice. Above all, the poorest and the dispossessed have taken to the streets to tell their leaders that they can’t continue ignoring them, that the destiny of the country depends on the participation of the entire population and not just a handful of privileged oligarchs who have seized it for looting and favoring multinationals.”
Following the deal, the FARC’s second in command called on the leaders of social movements and political parties to take part in an agreed process that seeks to reformulate Colombia’s existing opposition statute.
“It’s time to call for all political parties and social organizations to develop guidelines to finally have a framework for the expression of political opposition,” said Marquez.
He also said that it would be fundamental “that there is a true recognition – with guarantees – of the rights of social movements.”
According to Marquez, the FARC welcomes the disposition of the existing political parties to rethink the present system defining the role of coalition and opposition currently in place.
The guerrilla commander also referred to the proposal of inviting victims’ families to the negotiations in Havana, Cuba – saying that “we will await them with wide open arms like anybody else who is willing contribute to peace.”
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