Colombia sets A team for peace talks
BOGOTA - Reuters
A FARC member runs during a battle with the Colombian army in this file photo. REUTERS photoColombian President Juan Manuel Santos unveiled a six-man team to negotiate with FARC militants in the hope of ending almost 50 years of war. A decade after the last attempt to end Latin America’s longest-running insurgency failed, the negotiators led by former Vice President Humberto de la Calle are to travel to Norway next month to meet with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The negotiations will then move to Cuba.
“It’s a team with ample experience and each member wants things to move ahead in a serious, dignified, realistic and effective way,” Santos said at an address in the presidential palace, flanked by some of the negotiators. Members of the negotiating team include a former police chief, an industrialist, a former military head, the president’s chief security adviser and a former environment minister.
Half way into his four-year term, Santos, a U.S.- and British-trained economist, is staking his reputation on the talks. He knows they will be thorny given past failures like the 1999-2002 process, when the militants stonewalled, threw up tough demands and used the time to regroup.