Colombia: FARC-listen to the people & Popular Referendum on Peace Accords???
- THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2013
Santos Raises Possibility of Popular Referendum on Peace
Now that the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas have begun a new
peace talks in Havana, and both parties have acknowledged a desire to speed
up <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21005991> their
develop a final resolution to the conflict, the outline of an endgame seems
to be emerging. While the FARC negotiators have called for a national
be set up to change the constitution to reflect any eventual peace
agreement, the government has rejected this demand.
El Tiempo reports<http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-12520841.html>
yesterday, however, President Juan Manuel Santos announced that while
constitutional reform is out of the question, he would be in favor of
putting the terms of a peace treaty up for popular vote through a
referendum. "It's very possible that we could find a way to seek popular
approval for any accord, and that is to be discussed," the president told
reporters in an address in the Norte de Santander province.
The FARC�s desire to solidify a peace agreement in the constitution is not
without precedent. The country�s current constitution, approved in 1991,
was drafted largely as a result of government talks with the demobilizing
M-19 guerrilla group. This afforded the group a high political profile,
making it easier for the guerrillas to transition into conventional
politics. Without a constitutional assembly, the FARC�s leadership may feel
that the group�s political demands are being minimized, and may be less
inclined to demobilize.
But by opening the door to a popular vote, President Santos has ensured
that the rebels still have a way to coincide their demobilization with
social justice reforms. He has also created an immediate incentive for the
FARC to adapt themselves to democratic politics, as the guerrillas would
have to make their demands acceptable to not only the government, but to
the general public as well.
Govt should halt new bills and listen to people:
WEDNESDAY, 16 JANUARY 2013 16:20 ROB EDMOND
- Conflict <http://colombiareports.com/component/tag/conflict.html>
- Farc <http://colombiareports.com/component/tag/farc.html>
- Land Reform <http://colombiareports.com/component/tag/land-reform.html>
- Peace Talks <http://colombiareports.com/component/tag/peace-talks.html>
[image: Colombia - FARC]
Colombia <http://colombiareports.com/>�s largest left-wing guerrilla group
FARC <http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/profiles/26260-farc.html> on
Wednesday urged the country�s congress to cease passing bills related to
points being discussed in peace talks, report local media.
The FARC did so in a letter to Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo in
response to bills concerning agricultural policy being reviewed in congress.
Agricultural reform is a hot topic around the negotiation table between the
FARC and the right-wing government and is the first topic both sides wish
to reach an agreement over.
Newspaper El Espectador reported
guerrilla group claimed that the move by the government to proceed with
proposed legislation is ��inexplicable (�) without hearing the views
emanating from the peace table in Havana, and play deaf to the aspirations
of social and political organizations in the country."
The FARC also said they want Restrepo to travel to Cuba -- where the peace
talks are held -- to certify whether or not the government will consider an
agreement made as a result of the peace talks, as opposed to decisions made
solely by the government.
Speaking from Bogota<http://colombiareports.com/travel-in-colombia/bogota.html>,
the agriculture minister labeled the demand ��inadmissible�� and reiterated
that he defiantly will not make the trip.
*The FARC went on to note that "without hearing the voice of the people,
you cannot build peace." The group also expressed that the government�s
refusal to outlaw foreign ownership of Colombian land, something they call
��legal plundering,�� is ��painful.��*
*Nevertheless, talks to end the almost-50 year armed
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]