Opening Paths Toward Peace

A Flurry of Activity for Peace in Colombia

By Gina Spigarelli

A Flurry of Activity for Peace in Colombia

On April 9, the National Day for Memory and Solidarity with Victims in Colombia, a massive march for peace was organized and carried out by the Marcha Patriotica social movement. According to many accounts, the march had more than a million participants, who travelled from various regions of the country to show civilian support for the peace process, regardless of

political party.
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Colombia Peace Process Update

By Adam Isacson, Washington Office on Latin America

This update is cross-posted with the Washington Office on Latin America blog.

The first bit of news to emerge after our last Colombia Peace Process Update (March 27) gave cause for concern. The seventh round of talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas had ended with no agreement on the first of five agenda points, land and rural development. The eighth round, originally scheduled to begin April 2 in Havana, Cuba, was then delayed for three weeks. The reason given was a need for “separate work on sub-points” of the agenda, while negotiators’ support teams “continue joint work.”

In fact, the “break” between April 2 and the next round’s April 23 launch turned out to be a period of intense activity.


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Peace Negotiations Re-open After Expired Cease-fire

By Emily Schmitz

January 31 – Negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas re-opened today, after a week-long recess.

1356Objecting to bilateral agreements before peace negotiations are finalized, the government of Juan Manuel Santos refused to halt fire alongside guerrilla troops, thus ending the FARC’s cease-fire on January 19 at midnight. Without state reciprocation, the unilateral truce ran its sixty-day course as planned, returning FARC forces to guerrilla-style warfare that has typified the group since its beginnings.

Despite significant drops in violence, the cease-fire was widely disputed. Critics claimed FARC attacks continued throughout the country, despite claims to have halted offensive attacks. The New Rainbow Corporation Armed Conflict Observatory documented 41 armed actions involving both guerrilla fighters and armed forces during this period. Of these actions, seven were clear violations of the unilateral truce; another eight ran a thin line somewhere between defensive and offensive; and the remaining 26 were classified as defensive attacks, calculating thatalmost 90% of FARC stopped offensive attacks for the duration of the cease-fire. The outcome places in doubt a previous supposition that internal FARC divisions between units could nullify potential peace accords.
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Proposals for an End to the War

By John Lindsay-Poland

Proposals for an End to the War
By Alfredo Molano Jimeno

Originally published in El Espectador, December 6, 2012

A holistic agrarian reform, deconcentration of property ownership, policies for food and land sovereignty, strengthening of peasant and indigenous economies, technical training and rural education with a focus on livestock, regulation of mining and of land sales to foreign interests, are among the proposals that nearly 3,000 people put forth on the issue of land – the first point in the dialogue between the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas – in regional work groups organized by the United Nations and Congressional peace committees.
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Opening Paths Toward Peace

Opening Paths Toward Peace
By Maureen Maya, Journalist and Social Researcher

Published in Semanario Virtual #330, November 23-29, 2012

On Monday, November 19, as delegates of the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas were getting ready to begin negotiations in the Conventions Palace in Havana, Cuba, guerrilla leader Luciano Marín Arango, alias Iván Marquez, gave a surprising public message, entitled “Opening paths towards peace”:

“The FARC Secretariat orders all guerrilla units in the entire national territory to cease all offensive military operations against the armed forces and stop acts of sabotage against public or private infrastructure, beginning midnight on November 20, 2012 until midnight on January 20, 2013.”
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