HAVANA: The Colombian government and left-wing FARC rebels ended a 15th round of peace negotiations yesterday trading accusation over responsibility for the slow pace of the talks and for the first time failing to issue a joint statement on their progress.
Polls in Colombia show the population is tiring of the talks, which have dragged on for 11 months with only a partial accord on agrarian reform. The parties currently are negotiating on the rebels’ future political participation and still have before them the issues of reparations to war victims, the narcotics trade, ceasing hostilities and implementing the agreement.
The Colombian government wants a peace accord by the November start of a national electoral cycle, a deadline both parties and observers now say will not be met and may complicate the talks. That process concludes with a presidential vote in May.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who is expected to run for a second term, has staked his legacy on bringing an end to the conflict.