FARC Sees Promise in Colombia Armistice Proposal

25.10.2013 16:16

Commander of the FARC-EP leftist
guerrillas Andres Paris (C ) reads a
statement at Convention Palace in
Havana during the peace talks with
the Colombian government. AFP Photo
HAVANA , CUBA - The FARC guerrilla
group on Wednesday praised a proposal
that calls for declaring an armistice
before a peace agreement is reached in
Colombia' s near half- century- old conflict .
The proposal by conservative politician
Alvaro Leyva came as negotiators for the
rebels and the government of President
Juan Manuel Santos began another round
of peace talks in Havana, their 16 th .
Andres Paris, a member of the FARC
negotiating team, urged the government
to allow Leyva to expand on his proposals
at the talks, calling it an "interesting
initiative ."
Paris told reporters the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC as
the Marxist -inspired rebel group is
known , is " very interested " in learning
more about Leyva 's ideas, saying "they
could play an important role at this
juncture ."
" This proposal is a hope and a light, but
obviously we hope to hear more about it
and that the government delegation
listens to it ," he said .
Leyva is a former minister and lawmaker
who has served in the past as a peace
negotiator .
On Monday, he sent the Santos
government six proposals, including a
" supervised armistice" as a way of giving
the Havana talks a boost .
Another proposal called for strategies
and logistics for demining the country,
according to media reports.
The latest peace talks have been
underway for nearly a year , with little
sign of movement. Four previous
attempts to negotiate an end to Latin
America 's longest armed conflict failed.
Meanwhile , the fighting continues in
parts of Colombia.
Santos has so far rejected a cease- fire
before a peace agreement is reached ,
saying the rebels have used past truces
to regroup .
The FARC observed a unilateral ceasefire
for two months after the talks began in
November 2012, but lifted it after the
government failed to follow suit .
After 15 rounds of talks, the sides have
reached consensus on only one point --
land reform issues - - on the five- point
Negotiators are currently on the second
agenda item - - political participation by
the FARC.
The FARC has waged an insurgency
against the state since its founding in