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Colombian political leaders meet with FARC in Havana

Colombia's Congress leaders met with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) here Friday, as part of ongoing process to bring peace to the country after more than 50 years of conflict.

The meeting saw the participation of Colombia Senate President Luis Fernando Velasco, House of Representatives President Alfredo Deluque, and Roy Barreras, leader of Congress' commission for peace. They arrived in Cuba on Thursday.

The rebel delegation was headed by Ivan Marquez, head of the FARC's negotiation team since the Colombian government and the insurgent group started peace talks in 2012.

"We hope that the achievements made during these hours of dialogue will allow the FARC delegation to understand that seeking to gain popular support (for an peace agreement) would be legitimate and democratic," Barreras told the press.

In response, the guerrilla movement maintained its demand for a constituent assembly.

"From the start of this dialogue, we have that the support mechanism for this agreement should be adopted by a constituent assembly, or jointly with a referendum," Marquez said.

On Wednesday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced his hope that a permanent ceasefire could be signed with the FARC in December so as to begin 2016 without armed conflict.

On Sept. 23, both parties pledged to sign a peace agreement to end Latin America's longest insurgency that has left over 220,000 dead and over 6 million displaced.

[Source: Xinhua, Havana, 30Oct15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 02Nov15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.