¡Luchando Contra El Narco Estado, Terrorista, Antisemita y Criminal de Venezuela!

viernes, mayo 29, 2015

Colombian guerrilla negotiator killed in retaliatory airstrike, putting talks in doubt

By: Roger Noriega - IASW

A “peace delegate” from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was among the 27 guerrillas killed in a May 22nd airstrike by the Colombian Air Force, authorities confirmed Wednesday. President Juan Manuel Santos ordered the strike on a FARC camp in southwest Colombia in retaliation for a mid-April ambush that killed or wounded nearly three dozen soldiers. Santos called the operation “a legitimate action that seeks to preserve order and defend the security of Colombians.”

Apparently, the three-year peace talks between Colombia and the FARC are falling apart. The coup de grâce may have been the FARC ambush of slumbering soldiers, which confirmed the suspicions of a skeptical public that the guerrilla commanders were never serious about ending their narco-funded war.

The dead FARC commander Pedro Nel Daza Martínez, part of the FARC’s negotiating team at the Havana-based peace talks, was considered a hardline ideologue and suspected of being behind the kidnapping of Sgt. Pablo Moncayo, a Colombian soldier who had been in captivity for 12 years. The FARC leadership called the death of Nel Daza a “murder,” claiming that “some of the survivors of the bombing were executed by the Colombian Army while they asked for help.”

Although the Colombian military never formally suspended its operations against the FARC’s criminal activities, observers believe that authorities had been pulling their punches to give the peace talks the opportunity to advance. The FARC continues to profit from its central role in the illicit drug trade, from which it earns an estimated $600 million in annual revenue. Meanwhile, the costs of lost economic productivity and infrastructure—not to mention the human toll—due to the war have continued to mount. In a desperate bid to end the 50-year civil war, Santos may have been naïve in contemplating concessions to the FARC, with the hope that it would walk away from billions derived from narcotrafficking.

Santos’ willingness to achieve a negotiated peace has never been in doubt. He appointed a negotiating team with stature, and he staked his political career on the process, despite the skepticism of many Colombians. Indeed, he won reelection last June after rallying voters to back the peace talks.

However, given the violence of recent weeks, it is less likely than ever that the Colombian people would ratify an amnesty or political reintegration of guerrilla leaders, which the FARC negotiators have been demanding. The majority of Colombians, who at the start of the talks in 2012 favored a negotiated settlement, have dramatically changed their position today. According to a survey by Opinometro, the percentage of people who believe that the process will have a favorable outcome fell from 42 percent in April to 26 percent in May.

Now that the FARC’s intentions are clear, Santos might be better off suspending the talks, seeking other means of undermining the FARC, and tending to the economic and social problems that are confronting his nation. In order to jumpstart negotiations in the future, the FARC should probably be expected to surrender its weapons; foreswear armed struggle and terrorism; abide by a unilateral ceasefire pending its demobilization; end its drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, and other acts of violence; and submit to justice demanded by the Colombian people under the rule of law.

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posted by Aserne Venezuela @ 7:22 p.m. 

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