Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | May 23, 2013

Peace Commissioner says by now, peace talks with FARC could have achieved much more.

Peace Commissioner Humberto De La Calle said that although there have been some advances in the peace talks, there could have by now achieved much more. The peace talks began in November 2012 and have yet to produce an accord on agrarian reform, the first of five points on the agenda.

The FARC proposed giving 20 million hectares (49.4 million acres) of land to the poor and limiting how much property big landowners can have. Meanwhile, the government has insisted no land will be taken from private landowners, but acknowledged that rural development and distribution of land are key to achieving peace.

The political and legal status of the FARC members is also a challenging issue. Any agreement that gives the FARC any impunity is likely to face a disapproving public.

But the FARC reject the idea of legal prosecution for war casualties, the use of child soldiers, the use of kidnappings to extort money, and involvement in the illicit drug trade. The FARC said they would be willing only to “review” any “error” committed during the war but ruled out prosecution by a state they said they had legitimately risen up against for persecuting and neglecting its own people.

However, Peace Commissioner De La Calle said any decisions also have to consider legal international agreements Colombia has signed and ratified. Colombia is a State party to the International Criminal Court.

If the government-FARC peace talks are successful and the FARC disarm, GDP is expected to grow an additional two percent.


Major Michael L. Burgoyne, a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer, currently serves as the Andean Ridge Desk Officer at U.S. Army South. Read his view on the peace negotiations here.

Nazih Richani is the Director of Latin American studies at Kean University. Read his view on the peace negotiations here.


  1. If Colombia really wants to move forward now is the time. They have the drug dealers, kidnappers, terrorist, whatever you want to call them all together. Arrest them and throw them in jail. How can Colombia allow these criminals to continue to run the country? People are murdered everyday by these groups as these so-called Peace talks continue. They continue to destroy property, kidnap, and yet the Colombian government turns a blind eye. Most governments wouldn’t think twice about negotiating with terrorist but Colombia is the exception. My wife is Colombia and I’ve have visit it many times. It’s a beautiful yet trouble country where the line between the rich and poor widens. Colombia now has the chance for peace by locking up these criminals

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