News / Americas

FARC Chief: Colombia Peace Deal Unlikely This Year

FILE- Colombian soldiers stand guard o a street in Caloto, Columbia, Feb. 6, 2014.
FILE- Colombian soldiers stand guard o a street in Caloto, Columbia, Feb. 6, 2014.
Reuters

Colombia is unlikely to sign a peace accord with Marxist rebels this year as the remaining items on the negotiating agenda are complex and time-consuming, FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londono said.

President Juan Manuel Santos had expressed hope that talks to end a half century of war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could be concluded as soon as this year though he acknowledged they could run on longer.

In an interview published on the rebels' website on Monday, Londono said there would not be time in the next four months to complete discussion on reparation to victims and how to bring a definitive end to the conflict.

“I'm afraid not. Of course we all want things to be concluded as soon as possible,” said Londono, known by his nom de guerre of Timochenko.

“It is easy to see that the timeframe of this year won't allow for it. It should be noted also that the subject of the surrender of arms and a bilateral ceasefire will not be simple,” he said.

Dozens of FARC ,and government negotiators have reached agreement in talks - taking place in Cuba - on land reform, how to end Colombia's illegal drugs trade and rebel participation in politics.

In an apparent response to Santos' recent warnings that talks could collapse if the FARC continue to attack civilian and economic targets, Londono insinuated that the killing of any member of its seven-member secretariat would disrupt talks.

“We have no intention of assimilating the death of another member of the Secretariat, unless it be by natural causes,” he said.

Wearing the presidential sash, newly sworn-in President Juan Manuel Santos, delivers his inaugural speech, in Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 7, 2014.Wearing the presidential sash, newly sworn-in President Juan Manuel Santos, delivers his inaugural speech, in Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 7, 2014.
x
Wearing the presidential sash, newly sworn-in President Juan Manuel Santos, delivers his inaugural speech, in Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 7, 2014.
Wearing the presidential sash, newly sworn-in President Juan Manuel Santos, delivers his inaugural speech, in Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 7, 2014.

Santos, sworn into office for a second term last week, has been responsible for killing several FARC leaders, including Londono's predecessor, Alfonso Cano.

Even as the group has been weakened by a decade-long U.S.-backed military offensive, a rash of attacks against oil and mining installations, as well as on the armed forces and civilians, prove it is still a force to be reckoned with.

Santos, 63, warned at his inauguration last week that Colombia's patience for the peace talks has limits.

“Our intention is not to leave the negotiating table until there is a final agreement. But we do not believe that allows our adversaries to pull the rope so tight,” Londono said in an apparent response.

The center-right Santos pounded FARC militarily before revealing at the end of 2012 that the two sides would seek to end a conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people.

The FARC, which has battled a dozen governments since it began in 1964, took up arms as a Marxist group struggling against inequality. It later turned to kidnapping and drug-trafficking to finance itself. Colombia is a leading producer of cocaine.   

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video US Political Parties Face Challenge Motivating Hispanics

As November 4 midterm elections loom, Latino activists, who are mostly Democrats, say they are disappointed and angry with president over immigration reform
More

Photogallery Canadian Prime Minister Speaks After Shots Fired in Parliament

Steven Harper said Wednesday's attack, along with another incident this week that led to a soldier's death, are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism
More

Head of Mexican Cartel Appears in US Court

Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez was arrested by US federal agents while shopping in Texas
More

Egypt Sets Appeal Date for Al Jazeera Journalists

Journalists were convicted in July on charges of aiding terrorist organization in verdict condemned internationally
More

Canadian Soldier Dies in Car Attack Linked to Radical Islam

Police shoot and kill driver - suspected Islamic radical - after he rammed into two soldiers Monday in parking lot in Quebec province
More

UN Rights Chief Urges Venezuela to Free Opposition Leader

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein calls for release of Leopoldo Lopez and scores of others detained in a crackdown on protests that began in February
More