News / Americas

Colombian Peace Talks Resume in Cuba Amid Tensions

FILE - Colombia's lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle addresses the media during a conference in Havana, March 21, 2013.
FILE - Colombia's lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle addresses the media during a conference in Havana, March 21, 2013.
Reuters
— The Colombian government and leftist FARC rebels clashed on Monday over how to incorporate Latin America's oldest guerrilla movement into the democratic process, as they began the latest round of peace talks in Havana.

The FARC reiterated its demand that Colombia's 2014 general election be postponed a year in favor of a constituent assembly to chart the country's political future.

The government has repeatedly rejected the proposal and insisted a peace agreement must be reached by the end of 2013.

Former vice president and lead government negotiator, Humberto de la Calle quickly dismissed the FARC proposal before Monday's talks began.

“There are clear parameters for talks on this point [political participation] agreed upon last year by both sides,” he said. “That is what the government is willing to discuss and nothing more.”

In May, after six months of negotiations facilitated by Cuba and Norway, the two sides reached an historic agreement on agricultural reform that calls for developing rural areas and providing land to the people living there.

But they remain at loggerheads over the second item on their six-point agenda: turning the FARC from insurgents into political participants.

More than 100,000 people have died and millions have been displaced in fighting since FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, was founded in 1964 as a communist agrarian reform movement.

The talks recess every few weeks, then resume, even as the conflict rages on.

Rebels blew up an oil pipeline and the government sentenced their leader and FARC's chief negotiator to long prison terms on various charges during the most recent break in negotiations. The negotiator remains in Cuba with temporary immunity.

Other unresolved issues include the drug trade, compensation for victims and implementation of the final accord.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos initiated the peace talks last year in the belief that the FARC had been so weakened by the government's 10-year, U.S.-backed offensive that its leaders were ready to end to the fighting.

Three previous peace attempts have failed. The rebels have been pushed into far corners of the country but can still attack oil and mining operations vital to Colombia's economic growth.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Football Star's Stepfather Kidnapped, Released

Lawyer for family of Argentina's Carlos Tevez said player's stepfather appeared to be unharmed
More

Video Young Migrants From Central America Risk Life and Limb to Get to US

For tens of thousands of young people trip north is fraught with hardship and danger
More

Mother of Slain Mexican Teen Sues US Border Patrol

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was in Nogales, Mexico on October 10, 2012, when US agent shot him through border fence from Arizona
More

Planning Post-2015 Development

UNDP official calls for investing in people
More

Magnitude 6.3 Quake hits Mexico, No Major Damages, Injuries

Earthquake hit southwest of Juan Rodriguez, in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz at a depth of 95 km (60 miles), the US Geological Survey says
More

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More