Presidente de la República suspendió viaje de negociadores a La Habana

Tras una reunión con los Altos Militares y de Policía en el Ministerio de Defensa, el Mandatario informó que se suspenden las negociaciones hasta que sean liberados el general Alzate y otras dos personas secuestradas por las Farc en el Chocó.

 Presidente exigió liberar a personas secuestradas en el Chocó. Foto: Javier Casella - SIG

Presidente exigió liberar a personas secuestradas en el Chocó. Foto: Javier Casella – SIG

El Presidente Juan Manuel Santos anunció este domingo la suspensión del viaje de los negociadores del Gobierno a La Habana, luego de que se confirmara el secuestro de tres personas en el Chocó, por parte de las Farc, entre ellas el general Rubén Darío Alzate.

Tras una reunión con los Altos Militares y de Policía en el Ministerio de Defensa, el Mandatario informó que se suspenden las negociaciones hasta que sean liberados los secuestrados.

“Mañana viajaban los negociadores de paz a una nueva ronda de negociaciones en La Habana. Les voy a decir a los negociadores que no viajen y que se suspende esta negociación hasta tanto no se aclare y se liberen estas personas”, declaró el Presidente.

Así mismo indicó que se confirmó que el secuestro fue perpetrado por las Farc y calificó el hecho como inaceptable.

Fuente: Presidencia de la República de Colombia

President’s re-election boosts peace-talk hopes in Colombia

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Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, won a second term on Sunday with an election victory that allows him to continue peace talks with Marxist guerrillas to end a half-century war.

Santos beat rightwing challenger Óscar Iván Zuluaga with about 50.8% of the vote after a bitter campaign that challenged voters to decide between the incumbent’s pursuit of negotiated peace or a likely escalation of combat under Zuluaga.

Zuluaga trailed with about 45.1% of support. Votes had been counted from more than 98% of polling stations, meaning Santos’s victory was secure.

His re-election comes as a relief to his backers as well as traditional rivals from the left who backed the peace talks and feared they could have been jettisoned by Zuluaga in favour of trying to end the long conflict on the battlefield.

Santos, who hails from one of the country’s most influential families, opened talks with rebel leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) in late 2012 to end a conflict that has killed over 200,000 people and forced millions more from their homes. He made peace hopes a key selling point throughout the campaign.

Although they have shown more progress than previous failed efforts, the peace talks in Cuba have been divisive. Zuluaga supporters fear a peace deal could hand the Farc leaders political power without punishment for their crimes.

Santos sought to capitalise on support for his peace effort this week by revealing preliminary talks had begun with the second biggest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN).

A victory for Zuluaga, 55, could have spelled the end of the peace process if the Farc rejected the tougher conditions he vowed to impose to keep talks going.

Colombia’s financial market were not rattled by the campaign because both candidates are considered business friendly. Colombia’s economy is one of the fastest growing in Latin America.

Colombian Farc rebels present drug regulation plan

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The rebels say the eradication of illicit crops is not the way forward

The Farc presented the plan as part of its peace talks with the government.

The guerrilla group, which largely finances itself through drug trafficking, suggested a programme to “regulate the production of coca, poppies and marijuana”.

The rebels said that growers should be enticed “to voluntarily grow alternative crops”.

Instead of fighting the production it’s about regulating it and finding alternatives”

Along with Peru and Bolivia, Colombia is one of the world’s top three producers of coca, the raw material for making cocaine.

It also grows large amounts of marijuana and produces smaller quantities of heroin.

The government has spent millions of dollars trying to eradicate illicit crops – pulling them out by hand, spraying them with herbicides, and encouraging growers to switch to legal alternatives.

According to United Nations figures, Colombia has seen a 25% fall in the area of land planted with coca between 2011 and 2012.

But Farc negotiator Pablo Catatumbo said prohibition and eradication were not the way forward.

‘Legal alternatives’
“Instead of fighting the production [of illicit substances] it’s about regulating it and finding alternatives,” he said.

“The fundamental basis of this plan lies in its voluntary and collaborative nature, and in the political will on the part of the growers to take alternative paths to achieve humane living and working conditions.”

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Mr Catatumbo also said that the “medicinal, therapeutical and cultural” uses of the substances should be taken into account.

In Bolivia, the production of coca in small amounts is legal although the production of cocaine remains banned.

Coca leaves have been used for many centuries as a mild stimulant and to counteract the effects of high altitude in the Andes.

Last month another South American nation, Uruguay, voted to legalise the marijuana trade, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

The Farc has been engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government for more than a year.

The two sides have reached tentative agreements on two issues so far – land reform and the eventual political participation of the rebels should a peace treaty be signed.

They are currently holding their 19th round of talks in the Cuban capital, Havana.
Source:BBC News LatinAmerica

FARC, The Pantomime Villians Of Oslo?

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Colombia´s FARC guerrillas this morning opened talks with President Santos´s government to end their five decade war against the state.
Márquez complete with his Simón Bolívar t-shirt. Photo AP
Iván Márquez, head of the FARC delegation, delivered a highly political speech in which he appeared to rip up the agenda for discussion, arguing that peace would not be achieved only through the ´silencing of guns´ but by remodeling the Colombian economy to reflect the rebels´ Communist views.

This was a speech that could have been given in Caguán, and has left we who were hopeful for a successful conclusion to the discussions more than a little less optimistic than before.

Márquez has been deprived of the limelight of international media for years and took his chance today to deliver the rhetoric you sensed he had been preparing for days and nights under the tarpaulin of his jungle hideout.

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Peace talks in Colombia – Nine reasons to be optimistic

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday confirmed preliminary talks are underway with the FARC to secure peace in Colombia. Official negotiations are scheduled for October.

Details are yet to be confirmed by the presidential palace and so we must wait for news on the location (expected to be both Cuba and Oslo), who will be present (the Chilean and Venezuelan governments appear set to act as guarantors), and the agenda (to include drug trafficking, land reform, and political representation).

While international and Colombian media alike have welcomed the news, at home in Colombia, there is some understandable scepticism. And in certain sectors there is even hostility to the idea of sitting down with criminals and murderers.

The talks represent the clearest opportunity in the history of the 50 year war to find a exit to this meaningless struggle in which the lives of thousands of Colombians have been sacrificed to a unrealistic and immoral communist revolutionary dream.

The time has come for optimism and this website has ninereasons to dream of peace.
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