The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) presented a nine-point proposal on political integration today during the 12th round of peace talks with the Colombian government in Havana.
The latest proposal sets out the guerrilla group’s requirements for integration on political participation, which is the second of five key points in the bilateral peace agenda.
This morning during the presentation, the head of the peace delegation of the FARC-EP, Ivan Marquez, stated that the requests outlined are essential for the development of a participatory political culture, where the right to protest is assured.
Among their proposals, the rebel group has included prohibiting the criminalisation of political and social movements, as well as outlining a series of conditions and actions necessary for the recovery of political meaning and democratic life.
According to FARC: “The right to undermine, to question the capitalist order, and to exercise opposition against state politics and government, as well as to propose alternative ways forward, must be guaranteed.” The group also stated that the social and political groups that practice these rights must not be stigmatised.
In reference to the negotiations, FARC representatives expressed the need for the group to incorporate the rebel member Simon Trinidad in discussions. Trinidad has been carrying out a 60 year sentence in a United States prison since 2004 and had been considered by FARC to be an integral part of the peace delegation. The US government, however, has not allowed him to take part.
The government representative, Humberto de la Calle, has yet to make a public declaration in response to the rebel group’s latest statement.
Both sides reached an agreement in May on land reform, the first of the six points on the peace agenda, considered as the main cause of the conflict originating in 1964.
While the Colombian government has suggested peace may be reached by the end of the year, FARC has warned that to achieve a long-term settlement, negotiations cannot be rushed. The current round of discussions will finish next Thursday.