Press Room: Press Releases

CIP Statement on Reinstatement of FARC Talks

Adam Isacson

01-14-02

The Center for International Policy expresses its relief at the apparent revival of the peace process between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla insurgency, announced shortly after 5:00 PM on January 14. The courageous last-minute agreement reached this evening has undoubtedly saved many lives.

We send our gratitude and congratulations to the individuals who helped broker the agreement: James LeMoyne and Andrés Salazar of the United Nations, whose tireless efforts over the weekend were crucial to the final result; Monsignor Alberto Giraldo of the Episcopal Conference; and Ambassador Daniel Parfait of France and the other members of the group of friends of the peace process.

We congratulate the FARC for its flexibility in finding a formula that allows the talks to continue, and the Colombian government for agreeing to step back from the brink of all-out military confrontation. Analyses about which side conceded to the other's demands miss the point. In fact, the outcome benefits both sides politically.

A key lesson from the past few days is the importance of the role that the international community can play. We are encouraged by the decision to include a greater role for impartial international facilitators as part of a renewed peace process. Both sides should be open to a possible expansion of that role, perhaps to include mediation, if the situation requires it.

We hope that both sides resolve never again to come so close to a breakdown in talks. May a renewed dialogue bring swift progress toward a cease-fire agreement, as contemplated in the October 2001 San Francisco de la Sombra accord and the September document of the "Notables Commission."