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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

Volcano Erupts in Southern Chile

Villarrica erupted in early hours of Tuesday, sending ash and lava high into the sky, forcing evacuation of nearby communities
More

Ebola Reveals Weak Health Care

Save the Children warns many countries cannot deal with Ebola-style epidemics
More

Obama Hopes for US Embassy in Cuba Before April Summit

But, in interview with Reuters president also cautions it will take more time to fully establish normal relations with Cuba after more than a half-century rupture
More

US Agriculture Delegation Visits Cuba, Protests Embargo

Delegation began three days of meetings Monday, hoping to find potential business partners, while urging Congress to lift embargo on trade with the island
More

Venezuela Tells US to Downsize Embassy Staff

President Nicolas Maduro claimed Saturday that Venezuela has detained American spies
More

Fidel Castro Finally Meets 'Cuban Five,' Spies Turned Heroes

Spies returned home as heroes after serving long prison terms in US, 73 days after last of them were freed in prisoner swap
More