The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Farc, are willing to arrive in Norway to negotiate peace with the National Government with an open mind, disregarding obstacles like the President’s refusal to cease military operations during talks and the presence of alias ‘Simón Trinidad’ at the negotiating table.
“Looking at things with optimism, we feel there is no problem we cannot solve,” said guerrilla leader Marco León Calarcá during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.
The Government and Farc will begin formal peace talks in October after having meeting in Cuba for at least six months to reach preliminary agreements.
Two issues brought up by Farc, however, looked to many like the first hangups in what will be at least the third attempt at negotiation between the government and the insurgency. The first was a ceasefire, which the Government immediately rejected. The second was a request for alias ‘Simón Trinidad’, who is currently serving a 60-year sentence in the United States for the kidnapping of three Americans, to be at the table.
“We’re not saying that if there isn’t a ceasefire we won’t start (…) but we are calling for good judgement, we’re saying that if we’re going to talk let’s not harm each other anymore, if we are willing to find peace, let’s not harm each other anymore.”
Calarcá was part of the ‘exploratory’ talks with government delegates in Cuba along with alias ‘Andres Paris’, ‘Hermes Aguilar’ and ‘Sandra Ramirez’, among others. He said the agreement is also an invitation for other organizations to build peace in the country. When asked if this meant an invitation to the National Liberation Army (Eln), he said,“all we are saying to the comrades of the Eln is that they should think about that purpose, because we know it’s part of their strategic goals, as it is of our own.”
In reference to the United States Calarcá said: “Allow me to dream and say that the best thing the US can do would be to leave us alone, (…) let us resolve our own problems and create our own problems, because many of the problems we have in Colombia were created by imperialistic policies.”