World Bulletin / News Desk
FARC rebels on Thursday expressed a desire to close the topic of “victims of the conflict” and have presented new suggestions for consideration during peace talks in Havana.
“We want to bring this cycle of talks to an end with an agreement regarding the victims of the conflict and not spread distortions about what is going on all over the place,” said Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) spokesman Seuxis Paucias Hernández, better known by his alias ‘Jesús Santrich’, in a press conference Thursday.
Santrich’s comments represented a thinly veiled swipe at President Juan Manuel Santos’ recent tour of Europe to garner support for the peace process. The FARC criticized Santos’ declarations on this tour saying that he offered an “incoherent” and “biased” version of events.
While agreements have been been reached on the issues of agrarian reform, political participation and illicit drugs since talks began in November 2012, the rights of victims of the conflict have been discussed for more than a year.
In the meantime, the Colombian public has grown increasingly wary of the FARC, questioning whether it is interested in peace as guerrilla attacks on infrastructure have increased and have directly affected the civilian population in various parts of the country.
The FARC’s proposals to speed up and complete this item in this 38th round of talks includes, amongst other ideas, the creation of a 10-year Special Integrated Compensation Fund (FERI) to financially assist victims and be funded with an equivalent value of 3 percent of the country’s GDP.
The FARC has also suggested the creation of a new register for victims of the conflict that would include those directly affected and those who are victims of state violence. This would underline the state’s responsibility in creating paramilitary groups.
“We are under pressure trying to sign an agreement on this issue in this round of talks and to not continue discussing the topic,” said Santrich.
The latest round of talks began Wednesday against a backdrop of increasing violence as the FARC has recently attacked oil pipelines in various parts of the country, creating environmental damage and affecting thousands of civilians.Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Haziran 2015, 10:58