Colombia cattle ranchers fear ‘communist’ redistribution of lands after FARC deal

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Colombia’s federation of cattle ranchers, representing the country’s large land owners, on Friday rejected a recently made agrarian deal with the FARC that according to the agricultural businessmen includes Venezuela-like expropriations of private property.

Jose Felix Lafaurie, president of FEDEGAN, said the joint report from the negotiating table in Havana “generates more questions than answers,” and opens the door to legally acquired land being expropriated.

His letter to chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle Lombana also warns that FARC and other illegal armed groups are concentrating land ownership, saying that ranchers will not accept losses of land while illegal groups benefit.

Lafaurie is a loyal ally of former president Uribe and strong critic of Santos. Mired in corruption scandals several times, he has managed to continue his political career while also running significant business interests of his own.

While Lafaurie accepted that illegally taken land should be returned, his letter expressed concern that the ability to expropriate legally owned, but unused lands to give it to small farmers would “open a Pandora’s Box” in which legal land owners would become targets of a process in which the government agencies would have too much discretionary power.

However, FEDEGAN cattle ranchers have been accused of being some of the chief propagators of paramilitary violence in Colombia, and Lafaurie himself has admitted to FEDEGAN paying AUC paramilitaries, the main perpetrators of massive land theft.
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Who are Colombia’s ‘enemies of peace’?

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Since the Colombian government initiated peace talks with the FARC, the phrase “enemies of the peace” has become a regular occurrence. However six months down the line, the question…

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“Uribe tiene que entrar al proceso de paz”, dice Álvaro Leyva

El ex Constituyente Álvaro Leyva Durán ha sido protagonista de todos los procesos de paz que se han intentado con la guerrilla de las Farc y el ELN, desde hace 30 años. Conoció e interactuó con los comandantes de las Farc Jacobo Arenas, Manuel Marulanda Vélez y Alfonso Cano. Igualmente lo hizo con el cura Pérez, jefe máximo del ELN. Leyva tomó parte en los diálogos de Casa Verde en el gobierno de Belisario Betancur; en los de Tlaxcala, en el gobierno de César Gaviria, y en los del Caguán –a la distancia–, con el gobierno de Andrés Pastrana.

Leyva formó parte junto al presidente Juan Manuel Santos de la llamada “conspiración” contra el ex Presidente Samper, con la que buscaron un proceso de paz integral con las Farc y las Autodefensas de Carlos Castaño, a condición de la renuncia de Ernesto Samper, cuestionado por cuenta del Proceso 8.000. Pero también ha participado de iniciativas de búsqueda de la salida al conflicto, incluido el Proceso de paz del Caguán durante el gobierno Pastrana. Sin embargo, el presidente Santos no convocó a Álvaro Leyva a participar en las negociaciones de paz que comenzarán el próximo 17 de octubre en Oslo (Noruega) y tendrán como escenario La Habana (Cuba).
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The isolation of Álvaro Uribe?

¿Pero como así, mijo?

These are worrying times for Colombia´s ex-president Álvaro Uribe, as the political tide turns against him, the media deserts him, and the governing class close ranks behind President Santos.

Is Uribe in danger of losing his political voice?

Uribe is a politician used to the limelight, and unconditional support and loyalty. In 2010 he left power as Colombia`s most popular ever president. And despite the attacks on his government throughout the last two years, he has maintained a strong following not only among those who instinctively share his politics, but among the millions – particularly in rural areas – whose feel their lives improved significantly during the Uribe government as the FARC was pushed back.
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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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Dare we dream of peace in Colombia?

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed Monday evening that his government has entered into exploratory talks with the FARC to negotiate an end to 50 years of conflict.

Earlier in the day Venezuelan television channel Telesur reported that that both sides had signed an agreement to advance official peace negotiations scheduled for 5 October, in Oslo; details Santos refused to confirm.

The president has received support from across the political spectrum and in the country’s media. Ex-president Alvaro Uribe, however has denounced his successor as a traitor and an appeaser.

After ex-President Pastrana’s failed attempt to secure peace over a decade ago, and following a recent upsurge in FARC activity, there are also parts of Colombian society sceptical of Santos’ ability to end the continent’s longest-running civil war.

Dare we dream of a Colombia in peace?

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Colombia’s Santos sacks his Cabinet to save his government

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Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos demanded the mass resignation of his cabinet Wednesday in an attempt to re-launch his flailing government, and kick-start the 2014 re-election campaign.
After a catastrophic few months for the president in which popular support for his administration has plummeted, and during which the FARC guerrillas reappeared as major players on political stage, Santos has decided that the fight back must begin.
The nation awaits news of the changes that Santos will make to his ministerial team, but the talk is that they will be wide-ranging and dramatic.

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