Timeline for 2012 and earlier
May 15, 2013
- A ninth round of FARC-government talks begins in Havana.
- A FARC statement says the group has “full expectation and desire to take up the second [agenda] point very soon,” but goes on to voice concerns about land tenure and rural development, the first topic.
- Asked about the peace process while on a visit to Cartagena, former U.S. President Bill Clinton says, “The risk of failure is not an argument for not trying. It is preferable to try and fail than not to try for fear of failure.”
May 14, 2013
- President Santos defends the decision to keep secret the text of partial, draft peace accords: “partial accords can easily be manipulated or wrongly interpreted to poison the process.” He repeats the oft-used phrase, “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
May 13, 2013
- In Rome, President Santos discusses the peace process with Pope Francis, who offers expressions of support.
- Santos tells a Vatican newspaper that Colombians are not “totally optimistic” about the FARC talks, but that “a moderate optimism exists.”
May 10, 2013
- On a visit to Colombia, German President Joachim Gaück says that his government is “content” with the steps achieved so far in the peace process.
May 9, 2013
- Before a military audience, President Santos reiterates that the future of Colombia’s armed forces is not up for discussion at the Havana dialogues. He adds that if a transitional justice mechanism offers leniency to FARC human rights violators, it will offer something similar to military human rights violators.
- If the ELN wishes to begin talks, Santos adds, the guerrilla group “has to free its kidnap victims, above all the Canadian [mining company employee Jernoc Wobert] it is holding.” On May 8, the ELN said it would not release Wobert, in captivity since January 18, until his company cedes mining rights to local communities in Bolívar department.
- In a speech (Spanish)(English) at Bogotá’s Universidad Externado, High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo portrays an eventual peace accord not as the end of a peace process, but as the beginning of a larger, rather ambitious transition in Colombia’s historically conflictive territories. He defends the idea of a transitional justice framework that allows some impunity for past human rights abuses, as long as victims’ needs are met.
- At the same Bogotá university event, the heads of two branches of Colombia’s government debate the question of impunity in a future transitional justice process. Prosecutor-General Eduadro Montealegre defends the peace framework law passed in mid-2012, which holds out the possibility of amnesty for all but the most serious human rights violators. Montealegre proposes that those accused of crimes against humanity be banned from politics, though they may receive suspended sentences. Inspector-General Alejandro Ordóñez challenges the validity of the framework law, opposing an arrangement that allows FARC rights violators to stay out of prison. Ordoñez holds out the possibility that extrajudicial executions committed by the armed forces might not count as “crimes against humanity.”
- Interior Minister Fernando Carrillo predicts that the FARC and government will sign an accord “in November or December.” Senate President Roy Barreras says Colombia should prepare “for a longer peace process than has previously been announced.”
May 8, 2013
- Fifty-six U.S. and Colombian faith leaders sign two letters to President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and President Santos supporting the peace process and “calling for a U.S. policy that prioritizes peace and human rights in Colombia.”
- A poll from the Centro Nacional de Consultoría finds 69 percent of Colombian respondents supporting the dialogues with the FARC. This is two percentage points higher than the same poll found in April. An Invamer Gallup poll taken in late April found support for the dialogues at 67 percent, up five points from February. The polling firm attributed the peace talks as a key reason why President Santos’s popularity rose to 47 percent, from 44 percent in February.
May 6, 2013
- The Peace Committee of Colombia’s Congress launches its second round of Regional Peace Tables, a series of 11 meetings with civil-society representatives in several zones of Colombia. The topic is victims’ rights and participation.
May 3, 2013
- FARC and Colombian government negotiators in Havana conclude their eighth round of talks. Their joint communiqué indicates that they have a draft agreement on the first agenda item, land tenure and rural development.
- “The pace of the conversations has been insufficient, inconstant,” lead government negotiator De la Calle tells reporters. “We could have progressed much more.” Lead FARC negotiator Iván Márquez says, “We’re advancing. The peace delegation of the FARC feels satisfied with the gains we are making.”
- In a statement, the FARC react angrily to the idea of having to apologize for abuses that guerrillas have committed. The guerrillas reject the idea of facing Colombian justice after a peace process concludes: “The assassins and their tribunals have no moral authority to judge us,” it reads.
May 2, 2013
- At the conclusion of a lengthy visit to the United States, Defense Minister Pinzón says that “in my Washington meetings I have found a desire to support President Santos’s process and a will to strengthen the armed forces to accelerate it.”
April 29, 2013
- On a visit to Bogotá, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rajiv Shah, says, “On behalf of the United States and of President Obama, we want to reaffirm our commitment for economic support, and to be one of the principal allies for Colombia in its peace process. … As we discussed with the President [Santos], in the government of the United States we are very optimistic that the process is going to be very fruitful, and we are going to continue lending our support. … We are going to respond to all requests that President Santos makes to help and develop this process.” Shah also gives an interview to Colombia’s Semana magazine.
April 28-30, 2013
- Colombia’s National University and the UN Development Program host a public forum in Bogotá on the topic of the FARC-government dialogues’ second agenda item, “political participation.” 1,265 participants present about 400 proposals for the negotiating teams’ consideration. Topics include electoral reforms, guarantees for opposition parties’ security, women’s participation in politics, and similar issues. “Everything is possible once peace is signed,” the president of Uruguay, José Mujica, says to the forum participants in a recorded video message.
- Declaration of lead Colombian government negotiator Humberto de la Calle
- Declaration of FARC negotiating team
April 28, 2013
- FARC negotiator Andrés Paris tells reporters that a peace accord could bring “an eventual drastic reduction of the official military forces of Colombia,” adding that this is an issue “that we will surely bring up” in the peace talks.
April 24, 2013
- Colombia’s human rights record comes under scrutiny at a Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Participating countries praise the Colombian government’s decision to seek to end the conflict through negotiations.
- April 30 FARC negotiating team declaration about Universal Periodic Review
- FARC issues a document entitled “Four Minimal Proposals for Reform of the State and Democratic and Participative Institutionality.”
April 23, 2013
- An eighth round of talks between FARC and Colombian government negotiators begins in Havana.
- “We want results. That is the instruction that we have received from President Santos,” says lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle. “This is a process that cannot be prolonged indefinitely.”
- Statement from FARC negotiators
April 22, 2013
- Colombia’s La FM radio network reports that the Colombian government may launch dialogues with the ELN guerrillas during the second week of May.
- An Ipsos Napoleón Franco poll commissioned by several prominent Colombian news outlets finds 63 percent of Colombians favoring the peace process, up from 57 percent in November. 37 percent disapprove. 52 percent still believe that the process won’t succeed, while 45 believe that an accord and a demobilization from the FARC will result. 69 percent oppose an arrangement in which FARC do not go to prison. 67 percent oppose allowing the FARC to participate in politics after a peace accord.
- Pro-peace organizations from around Colombia meet in Bogotá for a “Congress of the People.” They call for a new social movement within which civil-society organizations develop “a peace agenda.”
- FARC message to Congress of the People
- ELN video message to Congress of the People
April 21, 2013
- President Santos issues, then quickly withdraws, a proposal to run for a second term of only two years (instead of four) to allow his government to complete peace talks and begin the post-conflict phase. FARC negotiator Pablo Catatumbo criticizes the episode as leaving “a flavor of improvisation.”
April 19, 2013
- The Episcopal Peace Council of the Colombian Catholic Church Episcopal Conference issues a statement (PDF) in support of the peace dialogues with the FARC and possible future talks with the ELN.
April 18, 2013
- 62 members of the U.S. House of Representatives send a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing support for the Colombian government’s peace talks with the FARC, urging a greater role for victims, and encouraging the U.S. government to take steps to support the talks and a possible post-conflict transition.
- April 25 letter from FARC negotiators to the congressional letter’s signers. This letter is the first time that the FARC mention the possibility of a truth commission to investigate human rights abuses, including their own “kidnapping, forced disappearance, recruitment, use of explosives of all kinds.”
- A joint communiqué announces that the next round of government-FARC dialogues will begin on April 23.
April 9, 2013
- Pro-peace and victims’ groups, the “Marcha Patriótica” political movement, and the mayor of Bogotá convene a large march in Bogotá in support of the peace process. Estimates of participants range from 200,000 to over a million.
- President Santos speaks before a military audience and then joins the marchers. “We are not going to diminish the presence of our forces in any corner of our territory” after a peace accord, Santos assures the officers in attendance. “To the contrary, we will need more presence.”
- FARC negotiators issue a declaration in support of the march.
- The FARC’s Southern Bloc, which some Colombian analysts speculated was perhaps the guerrilla unit most reluctant to negotiate peace, issues a statement denying that any divisions exist within the FARC, and affirming that it will comply “with the letter” of any accords that are signed.
April 8, 2013
- Two more FARC negotiators (Laura Villa and Sergio Ibáñez) arrive in Havana after being extracted from a zone in Meta department, in south-central Colombia. This required a temporary suspension of Colombian military activity in this zone.
- Before the pickup is to happen, former President Álvaro Uribe, a constant critic of the peace talks, posts the coordinates of the zone to his Twitter account. It is believed that this information, known only to a small number of officials, was leaked to Uribe by a member of Colombia’s armed forces. This individual remains unidentified.
- Speech given by President Santos on the National Day of Memory and Solidarity with Victims of the Armed Conflict
April 7, 2013
- Pablo Catatumbo, chief of the FARC’s Alfonso Cano (Western) Bloc, arrives in Havana to join the guerrillas’ negotiating team. He is the second member of the group’s seven-person Secretariat, in addition to Iván Márquez, among the negotiators. Analysts speculate that Catatumbo’s addition to the negotiating team may speed the FARC’s decision-making, and may reflect a decision to give greater representation to the guerrilla group’s field commanders. Several other members of the guerrilla negotiators’ support team (Victoria Sandino Palmera, Freddy González, Lucas Carvajal, and others) travel to Cuba as part of the same operation, which required a temporary military pullout from two zones.
- Declaration of support for the peace process from mayors of the capital cities of Colombia’s departments
April 5, 2013
- A letter from Colombia’s departmental governors calls the Havana talks “an opportunity toward peace” and calls on Colombians “to participate constructively so that the Havana dialogues advance and conclude successfully.”
April 2, 2013
- “We haven’t fought our entire lives for peace with social justice and the dignity of Colombians only to end up locked up in the victimizers’ jails,” says lead FARC negotiator Iván Márquez.
March 31, 2013
- In a statement, the FARC denies that recently seized drug shipments belong to the guerrilla group, “nor are we narcotraffickers.”
March 30, 2013
- Government and FARC negotiators announce that the beginning of the next round of talks, scheduled for April 2, is postponed until the third week of April.
March 25, 2013
- “We will do everything we have to do, and beyond, to help Colombia to a process of peace, of reconciliation,” says Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s acting president and ruling-party candidate for April 14 presidential elections.
- “For us, the peace dialogues in Colombia are fundamental because they present us with new potential scenarios, for which we must be prepared,” says Ecuador’s defense minister, María Fernanda Espinosa.
March 24, 2013
- The Colombian daily El Espectador publishes an interview with Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, maximum leader of the ELN guerrilla group. “A process is going forward between the *compañeros of the FARC and the government, and we’re not even in exploratory dialogues, so it is not possible to talk about a single table. We are willing to accept that reality of two separate tables, valuing the importance of converging down the road.”
March 23, 2013
- In a video directed to a gathering of “Campesino Reserve Zone” representatives in southern Colombia, chief FARC negotiator Iván Márquez says, “We add ourselves to the chorus that demands the formalization of the 9.5 million hectares of land that comprise the new processes of formation of Campesino Reserve Zones.”
March 21, 2013
- The seventh round of dialogues concludes in Havana.
- Given the advanced stage of discussions of the first agenda point (land tenue and rural development), the joint declaration reads, “the delegations asked the UN office in Colombia and the National University Center of Thought for Peace to begin preparing a new public forum about the next point on the agenda, ‘political participation,’ to be carried out at the end of next month.”
- “We continue to advance in the construction of accords within the first agenda point, although there are still several disagreements remaining,” says chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle.
- According to media reports, one of the principal areas of disagreement is the future extent of “Campesino Reserve Zones,” areas where landholdings are limited in size and cannot easily be bought or sold, and where residents seek a degree of administrative autonomy. Six such zones legally exist in Colombia, covering 831,000 hectares of land. In the negotiations, the FARC are reportedly seeking 9.5 million hectares of campesino reserve zones. (Colombia’s entire land area is 113 million hectares.)
March 19, 2013
- “If peace is achieved, this country has no limits,” says U.S. Ambassador Peter Michael McKinley. “The fact is, the U.S. government supports every effort to negotiate an end to the Colombian internal conflict.”
March 17, 2013
- An operation in Cauca department dismantles what Colombia’s army calls one of the FARC’s principal cocaine processing centers. FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda denies that the site belonged to the guerrillas. “Those are inventions. We are a serious, responsible political-military organization. … We aren’t a cartel of narcotraffickers.” Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón responds, “It is ridiculous to doubt that the FARC are narcotraffickers.” On March 19, lead FARC negotiator Iván Márquez calls Pinzón a “sharpshooter” against peace efforts.
March 15, 2013
- “He told us that there are already accords, including some signed, which means that the process is going very positively,” construction executive Pedro Gómez tells reporters following a meeting between President Santos and business leaders.
- At an event hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, Colombian Congressman Iván Cepeda — part of the group of legislators that visited Havana on March 3 — “conveyed a sense of optimism that the negotiators had reached preliminary agreement on agrarian development policy—the first and largest point of the six-point agenda under discussion—and were preparing to move on to the next agenda item—political participation.”
March 13, 2013
- Lead FARC negotiator Iván Márquez tells reporters that the guerrillas will do “everything possible” to reach a peace accord before the end of the year.
- “I believe that if the pace of the last few weeks is maintained, and that’s what the negotiators tell me, it is perfectly possible to finish the work in months,” says President Santos.
March 11, 2013
- The seventh round of peace talks between FARC and government negotiators begins in Havana.
March 6, 2013
- Several national organizations of conflict victims present a document “to the peace dialogues, to achieve an express commitment, both from the state and from the armed opposition groups, to take actions for truth, justice, reparations and non-repetition guarantees for serious human rights violations, crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes that for decades have beaten down millions and millions of Colombians.”
March 5, 2013
- The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who played an important behind-the-scenes role in convincing FARC leaders to participate in the talks, adds uncertainty about Venezuela’s future role as an “accompanying country” in the process.
March 4, 2013
- FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda tells reporters that following a successful peace process, FARC leaders would not run for office, at least not under the current “electoral regime,” which in his view is stacked against leftist candidates.
March 3, 2013
- The president of Colombia’s Senate and members of both houses’ peace committees begin a two-day visit to Havana to speak with negotiators, including FARC representatives. “After hearing Colombians’ concerns throughout the country, we decided it was time to transmit these doubts and concerns about the timeframe of the process to the negotiators on both sides of the table,” says Senate President Roy Barreras.
March 1, 2013
- Government and FARC negotiators complete the sixth round of talks. “We have advanced in the construction of an accord on the following issues: land access and use; unproductive lands; formalization of property; agricultural frontier; and protection of [smallholder] reserve zones,” reads a joint communiqué.
- “We know we are in a key moment of the dialogues where results are required, this is, accords on the agrarian issue that allow us to continue with the discussion of the other points of the agreed agenda,” says chief government negotiator De la Calle in a generally upbeat statement.
February 28, 2013
- Despite a sour national mood on the talks, reports the Colombian daily El Espectador, in Havana “The news, to the extent known, is good: there is now a basic document, written jointly by the two negotiating teams, with about five pages on which accords have been reached.”
- “The FARC guerrillas still have an ethical and moral debt, not to the government but to the population’s right to live in peace,” Vice-President Angelino Garzón tells the Spanish daily El País. “The guerrillas are conspiring against peace and shooting at peace. They cannot keep asking impossible things of the government in a negotiation, like asking for a bilateral cease-fire or that the government allow them to kidnap soldiers and police.”
February 26, 2013
- FARC negotiators read a statement from the guerrillas’ General Staff (Estado Mayor Central) that says, “It is surprising to hear that if there are no advances in Havana the government will get up from the table, when the FARC have presented more than 40 proposals to speed the process.” The document ends with a call on the government not to “kick aside” (patear) the negotiating table.
February 25, 2013
- The latest edition of Colombia’s bimonthly Gallup poll brings bad news on public opinion. The percentage of Colombian respondents supporting the FARC talks falls to 62, from 71 in December. The percentage believing that these talks will end the conflict with the FARC falls to 36, from 43 in December. President Santos’s favorability rating falls to 44 percent, from 53 percent in December.
- “We’re going in a good direction, though I would like it to be faster. So far, things are going well,” President Santos tells the French daily Le Figaro. “I don’t want to give a date, but a process like this cannot last several years. We have advanced in Cuba.”
February 24, 2013
- “We’ve put together at least two or more pages of an agreement, and this is an advance that had not been achieved in previous processes,” lead FARC negotiator Iván Márquez tells Semana magazine columnist María Jimena Duzán.
- “We support President Santos and his government in the search for peace to finally reach a solution to that terrible conflict with the FARC,” says France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, on a visit to Bogotá.
- Interview with FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda in the Medellín daily El Colombiano.
February 23, 2013
- “[T]he people should understand that we are conversing in the midst of conflict, that that is difficult, often contradictory, but that is the route that we deliberately chose,” says President Santos. “At this moment I would have no problem getting up from the table and saying that this is over. But I’m going to make every possible effort so that this doesn’t happen, because just imagine Colombia without that conflict.”
- The FARC posts a statement laying out “ten minimum proposals” for a rural cadaster.
- “There is a mix of optimism, fortitude and mistrust,” FARC negotiator Rubén Zamora tells Semana magazine journalist Marta Ruiz, who asked him how rank-and-file guerrillas are viewing the talks. “Optimism over a possible end of the war, fortitude to remain in the jungle if this attempt fails, and fear of being betrayed by the state if they lay down their arms,” Ruiz explains.
February 22, 2013
- Maximum FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez issues a statement responding to President Santos’s February 20 event distributing lands recovered from the FARC in San Vicente del Caguán, Caquetá. While alias “Timochenko” recognizes the possibility that the FARC displaced some peasants and must give some land back, he complains that President Santos’s statements in San Vicente — part of the zone that hosted peace talks that failed eleven years earlier that same day — make no mention of the current peace process. “While it’s true that the dialogues have made some important advances toward accords, official attitudes… threaten to mire it in a swamp,” reads the statement. “Let’s get it out of there now, Santos. This narrow and calculated conception of the process threatens to drown it. Let’s save it.”
- Those who have the peace process stuck are the FARC with their kidnappings and attacks,” responds Interior Minister Fernando Carrillo.
February 18, 2013
- Government and FARC negotiators begin a sixth round of talks in Havana on the first agenda item, land and rural development.
- A Datexco poll shows 67.34% of Colombians surveyed believing that the current peace process with the FARC will not be successful. 20.25% say that they believe it will be successful. 52.87% disapprove of President Santos’s management of the dialogues.
- The FARC posts a statement laying out “ten minimum proposals” for food security.
- “Those who are conspiring the most against peace are the FARC guerrillas themselves,” Vice President Angelino Garzón tells the Associated Press. “Amid so many terrorist actions against Colombia’s civilian population, it can’t be built. It is a counter-revolutionary way to face peace.”
February 17, 2013
- In a statement on the eve of the sixth round of talks, lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle says, “We hope to bring good news from Havana. Without generating false expectations, we really believe that there is an opportunity.” De la Calle also acknowledges the difficulty of negotiating while fighting and other acts of violence make headlines, and reiterates the government insistence on sticking to the agreed agenda: “These are not dialogues about all issues that occur to the guerrillas.”
February 15, 2013
- The FARC releases Víctor Alfonso González and Cristian Camilo Yate, the two police officers captured on January 25 in Valle del Cauca, to a humanitarian commission of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Colombians for Peace.
- President Santos thanks the visiting president of the European Parliament, Martín Schulz, for his support of the peace process.
February 12, 2013
- Lead FARC negotiator Iván Márquez sends a letter to Cardinal Rubén Salazar, the maximum authority of the Catholic church in Colombia, inviting him and top bishops to Havana to discuss the peace process. Cardinal Salazar turns down the invitation.
February 11, 2013
- Speaking before a Colombian military audience, President Santos says, “We have to persevere until peace is achieved, one way or another. One way [peace], we’ll take less time, and I hope it can be done.” He adds that the frequency of FARC attacks has not increased, although “there has been more noise in the media.”
February 10, 2013
- The fifth round of talks on the first agenda item, land and rural development, concludes in Havana. In a joint communiqué, negotiators from both sides say that there have been “convergences” following an “exhaustive analysis.” The fifth round is to begin on February 18.
- FARC spokesman Rodrigo Granda says the talks are moving forward “at the speed of a bullet train.”
- “One thing is what the FARC say in public as part of their platform, which they will be able to defend within democracy if they reintegrate into civilian life. And another thing is what is discussed at the table. We are sticking strictly to the agenda agreed in the General Accord,” says chief government negotiator De la Calle. “We hope that the FARC frees the kidnapped policemen and soldier through a quick process,” he adds. “Once again, we vehemently reject kidnapping. Every act like this is a direct attack on the peace process.”
February 9, 2013
- The FARC posts a statement laying out “ten minimum proposals” for political recognition of peasant rights and the definition of landholdings.
February 6, 2013
- The FARC posts a statement laying out “eight minimum proposals” for territorial ordering of agricultural land. These include a proposal for “Legal marijuana, poppy and coca-leaf crops and substitution of illegal crops.”
February 5, 2013
- “If there is will, I have faith that this year we will achieve peace in this country,” says President Santos. “Making war is harder than making peace.”
- The FARC sets off two car bombs in Caloto, Cauca department, killing two people and wounding several more.
February 3, 2013
- In a statement, the FARC high command condemns what it characterizes as “the ultra-right wing’s campaign against the Havana peace process.” The statement insists, “The conversations at the table are proceeding normally, nobody has gotten up or formally threatened to leave. To the contrary, the two sides are working in search of points of convergence on the agrarian issue.”
- President Santos authorizes Colombia’s Defense Ministry to coordinate the release of the FARC’s two police captives, as well as that of a soldier also captured the previous week.
February 2, 2013
- The FARC announce that they will release two policemen whom they took captive on January 25 to the International Committee of the Red Cross and Colombians for Peace, a non-governmental group.
- In a separate statement, the guerrillas attack former President Álvaro Uribe, who has been a vocal critic of the peace talks, as a “pure-blooded paramilitary.” The Colombian government responds with a demand that the FARC “respect the dignity” of Uribe.
January 31, 2013
- A fifth round of talks between government and FARC representatives begins in Havana.
- “If the FARC believe that through kidnappings, which they promised that they wouldn’t carry out, they’re going to try to pressure the government to agree to what they aspire to, a cease-fire within the dialogue process, then they’re wrong! To the contrary!” says President Santos.
- FARC guerrillas free three civilian oil workers whom they had kidnapped in Cauca a day earlier.
January 30, 2013
- Lead government negotiator De la Calle says, “Things must be called by their names: a kidnapping is a kidnapping, it doesn’t matter whom the victim is. The FARC will have to respond for this act [the capture of two police on January 25], as with all of the thousands of kidnappings they have committed. But they also err radically if they think that with this type of actions, they can obligate the government to agree to a bilateral cease-fire. … We’re going to Havana to end the conflict, which is what we agreed. And if that is not the case, they should tell us at once, so as not to waste the government’s and the Colombian people’s time.”
January 26, 2013
- At a summit meeting in Chile, President Santos and Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro discuss the FARC peace process.
January 25, 2013
- The FARC captures two policemen in Valle del Cauca department. On January 29, the guerrillas issue a statement affirming their claim to have abandoned kidnapping for ransom, but reiterating their intention to continue holding security-force members whom they capture as “prisoners of war.” The policemen’s capture sends the talks into their most serious crisis to date.
January 24, 2013
- Government and FARC negotiators conclude the fourth round of talks, which began on January 14th. In a joint statement, negotiators say there have been aproximaciones (movement toward agreement) on some aspects of the land and rural development issue.
- “We believe there are concrete results in these advances in the land reform proposal,” says FARC negotiator Jesús Santrich. “We believe this is a mambo rhythm. It’s subdued but accelerated.”
- Chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle says that there have been areas of agreement, but also much distance remaining, on the land issue. He reiterates the government’s rejection of a cease-fire.
- FARC negotiators issue a communiqué laying out their eighth through tenth of ten proposals for land and rural development.
January 23, 2013
- In an interview with the Communist newspaper Voz, maximum FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez rejects speculation that internal divisions exist within the guerrillas on the subject of peace.
- FARC negotiators issue a communiqué laying out their sixth and seventh of ten proposals for land and rural development.
- In a press statement (video, chief FARC negotiator Iván Márquez reiterates the guerrillas’ call for a bilateral cease-fire.
January 22, 2013
- FARC negotiators issue a communiqué laying out their fourth and fifth of ten proposals for land and rural development. These include a proposal to legalize cultivation of coca for “medical, therapeutic, or cultural” use.
January 21, 2013
- FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda says that while the guerrillas have abandoned their 2-month unilateral cease-fire, they do not plan an all-out offensive as some Colombian security authorities had warned.
January 20, 2013
- The FARC’s two-month unilateral cease-fire ends on this day with attacks on a pipeline in Putumayo department and a police station in Norte de Santander department. Chief guerrilla negotiator Iván Márquez confirmed on January 9 that the FARC would not prolong the truce. “The unilateral cease-fire … ends on January 20. That’s it,” Márquez again informs reporters on January 14.
- “The truth is that there was an important reduction in this organization’s number of actions, there was a very important reduction in the number of our soldiers and police killed or wounded. With that we can conclude that there was compliance [with the cease-fire]. But a relative compliance, because there were also actions,” says President Santos.
- Colombia’s human rights ombudsman said that the FARC carried out 57 attacks during the truce. The Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris think-tank counted 7 to 15 possible attacks.
- In a statement, FARC negotiators reiterate their call for a constitutional convention to lock any eventual peace accord commitments into permanent law.
January 19, 2013
- FARC negotiators issue a communiqué laying out their second and third of ten proposals for land and rural development.
January 18, 2013
- FARC negotiators issue a communiqué critical of Agriculture Minister Restrepo and the role of foreign agribusiness.
- After kidnapping five mining workers in Bolívar department, the ELN releases a video in which maximum leader Nicolás Rodríguez alias “Gabino” asks, “Why aren’t we at the [negotiating] table? That’s a question for President Santos.”
January 16, 2013
- FARC negotiator Jesús Santrich says that any peace accord achieved in Havana should be approved by a new constitutional assembly in order to give it “dynamism, construction and legitimacy.” President Santos rejects the constitutional assembly idea, but suggests that an eventual accord could be put up for popular consideration through a referendum.
- An Ecuadorian border-zone general says he has seen an increase in FARC arms-trafficking activity since the process started. FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda denies it, saying the FARC are instead arming themselves with “much patience and many arguments” for the talks, and blaming “the extreme right in the continent taking shots at the peace process.” Granda also denies rumors that the FARC are internally divided, and says that he hopes the talks can be concluded by November 2013.
- In a letter [PDF] to Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo, FARC negotiators ask that pending legislation regarding land and rural development — the current topic of the talks — be halted.
January 14, 2013
- A fourth round of talks, focused on the first agenda item, land and rural development, begins in Havana, Cuba.
- The FARC issue a communiqué echoing the government’s call for a faster pace in the dialogues, and laying out what they say is the first of ten proposals for land and rural development, the current negotiating topic.
January 13, 2013
- President Santos meets with the government negotiating team in Bogotá, a day before the fourth round of talks is to begin in Havana. Lead negotiator de la Calle gives a mostly upbeat address (video). “We are in deep, concrete discussions” about the rural development agenda topic, he says. “President Santos hopes,” he adds, “that now that we are inaugurating the conversations in this new year, that they take place at a new pace. We need a faster pace (necesitamos más ritmo).”
January 12, 2013
- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits Bogotá to discuss the peace process with President Santos. “I’m sure that my government and many of its leaders support the current process,” says Carter. Santos adds that in addition to peace, they discussed the need to “revise and seek alternatives to what has been called the ‘war on drugs.’”
January 9, 2013
- The United Nations delivers to FARC and government negotiators 11 volumes containing 546 proposals on the issue of land and rural development. The proposals came from the 1,300 participants in a December 17-19 forum, held in Bogotá, to facilitate civil-society participation in the peace process.
Timeline for 2012 and earlier