Colombian president rejects impunity for FARC rebels

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-5 15:21:04

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said recently there will not be an impunity for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla members who committed crimes against humanity, in case a peace agreement is achieved, according to local media.

"Impunity, such as some people suggest, no. There will not be a clean slate," Santos said recently in an interview with the Colombian daily "El Tiempo", further emphasizing his previous position of no ceasefire before reaching an agreement.

Santos also said his government has contacted another Colombian guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN) which has recently cooperated with FARC in armed operations while at odds with each other in the past, aiming at beginning peace talks with them.

If a peace agreement is achieved with the FARC, there will be a process to rehabilitate guerrilla members who have not committed crimes against humanity.

"Fortunately, we have land for everyone, including former guerrilla members. There will be a specific policy for land delivery to former guerrilla members, as well as farmers without land," Santos said.

"At the same time, we are going to help them develop productive projects and associate them with large businessmen, as I had said it before, so that the land can become a source of prosperity and development," added Santos.

The first agreement on the subject of agriculture was reached between Columbian government and FARC at the end of May, sparkling hopes to draw a close to the other four-point negotiation agenda including drug trafficking and the rights of victims, which was proposed in November, 2012.

FARC has long been considered as a national threat since its establishment in 1964. Government of Santos and FARC began peace negotiations in October, 2012 in Havana, Cuba, seeking to end an armed conflict that has lasted 50 years.

"FARC does not have an alternative instead of signing a peace agreement. The progress we have achieved shows that we have made a correct decision of beginning the process," Santos said.

Even though the longer-than-expected negotiation has recessed and then resumed every few weeks, the Havana talks "are going well with the normal ups and downs," according to Santos, who has also been accused of making concessions to the rebel groups before running for a second term in the presidential election next year.

Confronted with frequent doubts, the peace talks are expected to end this year.

Posted in: Americas

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