ColombiaOne.comColombia newsFARC Dissidents Suspend Peace Talks with Colombian Government

FARC Dissidents Suspend Peace Talks with Colombian Government

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FARC Dissidents Suspend Peace Talks with Petro’s government in Colombia@MinAmbienteCo / X

The dissident factions of the FARC guerilla have suspended the on-going peace talks with the Colombian government. The peace talks had commenced mid-October. The so-called Central General Staff of the FARC (EMC) is the largest guerilla dissident group from the peace agreements signed with the now-defunct FARC in 2016. The EMC cites “non-compliance” by the Colombian state as the reason for suspending the talks, which have faced significant difficulties from the start.

The suspension comes at a critical time for President Petro’s Total Peace project, especially as many voices, including those within the left-wing coalition supporting the president, have questioned the talks also underway with the National Liberation Army (ELN), due to the kidnapping of the father of soccer player Luis Díaz.

Although government sources and the ELN leadership have stated that the release of the athlete’s father will occur in the coming days, there have been numerous condemnations and doubts about continuing the peace talks, which are experiencing their worst crisis since they began a year ago.

Reasons for the EMC’s Suspension

The EMC released a detailed statement announcing its decision to suspend the peace talks due to alleged “non-compliance” by the government, although the illegal armed group did not specify what type of non-compliance it attributes to the state, which it accuses of maintaining “a militaristic vision.”

However, the announcement came after reports of the kidnapping of a platoon of soldiers in the El Plateado area of Cauca by the mobile unit Carlos Patiño, which is part of the EMC.

“Starting today, we declare the dialogue table and the agreed agenda between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP suspended. We will begin an internal consultation process with our dialogue commission and invite the national government to do the same. The bilateral ceasefire is maintained as we have agreed. For the good of Colombia we hope we can overcome this crisis,” the guerrilla statement said.

Militarization of the Cauca Region

Military forces reported that soldiers engaged in de-mining were detained by civilians and later released in the El Plateado sector in the department of Cauca. The region, historically subjected to violence by various illegal armed groups operating there, is to be taken over by the army to ensure state control.

In its statement, the EMC expresses its disagreement with the militarization of the territories in the department of Cauca, where, it claims, the state has not been part of the development of the “long-forgotten” peasant communities, as well as of the indigenous and Raizal peoples. “It is evident that in this sense the State does not want a peace agreement, but an action of subjugation over our revolutionary armed organization and the communities that have been hit throughout their lives,” the guerrilla statement accuses.

“The response has been to increase the military presence, taking over all the spaces that the parties committed to vacating, demanding in them an action contrary to the agreements adopted, generating discomfort in the communities and in the (guerrilla) leadership, denoting a total non-compliance with each agreement, each protocol, and each commitment discussed, adopted, and signed,” the armed group claims.

Need to Regain Trust

In the public text, the guerrilla states that the suspension is temporary and that it will depend on the state’s decisions whether it becomes definitive or not. To return to the negotiating table, the illegal organization demands the restoration of trust and the overcoming of the previously mentioned difficulties.

“Resuming conversations will only be possible if there is the creation of a document in which the State commits to the fulfillment of each of the agreements, decrees, protocols, and commitments that are adopted within the dialogue table,” the EMC has demanded.

Another Setback for Peace Talks in Colombia

This suspension of the dialogue table between the State and the EMC represents another setback for President Petro’s Total Peace project. The initiative seeks peace with the various illegal armed actors in Colombia through political dialogue. So far, two peace tables had been set up: the first, a year ago with the historic ELN, and recently a new dialogue scenario opened with the EMC, the main dissidence of the former FARC.

However, the kidnapping of Luis Manuel Díaz, father of the well-known Colombian international soccer player, Luis Díaz, on October 27 by the ELN has put the peace talks with this organization in jeopardy. After days of confusion and uncertainty, the armed group announced that negotiations for the prompt release of the kidnapped man are underway with the government, but the wound caused by a practice that in Colombia harks back to the worst criminal scenarios of the past, has left the peace project with the ELN injured and more questioned than ever by public opinion.

Yesterday, the EMC’s announcement to suspend its dialogue table leaves Total Peace in a critical state, waiting to see if Colombia’s government representatives will be able to redeem the situation.


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