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Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:05 PM

Formal FARC peace talks to be held in Norway in October: RCN

Last edited Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:26 PM - Edit history (2)

Formal FARC peace talks to be held in Norway in October: RCN
Monday, 27 August 2012 08:25
Joey O'Gorman

Colombia's government is to meet with FARC guerrilla representatives on October 5th in Norway's capital Oslo to formally negotiate a peace agreement to end the country's 48-year old armed conflict, reported RCN Radio Monday.

Monday's report by RCN follows a week of media claims that the government had begun preliminary talks with the FARC in Cuba. Senior government representatives and the brother of Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos reportedly met with members of the guerrilla group's political leadership to negotiate the conditions for formal peace talks in an effort to end the conflict which has ravaged the country since 1964.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, who last week said that he wanted to engage with the FARC to end the 48-year old conflict, met with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in Santa Marta in Northern Colombia, where Santos requested Venezuelan assistance to mediate the preliminary talks, according to RCN.

The government's agenda has six basic themes which include FARC demobilization, ceasefire and the decommissioning of arms, all issues which have limited past efforts at negotiations. The guerrilla group's conditions consist of agricultural reform, renegotiation of multinational involvement in oil and mining industries, environmental issues and the involvement of social organizations in the eventual peace talks.

...

Read more:

http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/25736-farc-peace-talks-to-be-held-in-norway-in-october-rcn.html

Added another report:

Colombia, rebels to begin peace talks soon - source
Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:57pm EDT
By Helen Murphy

BOGOTA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Colombia's government will soon begin talks that could lead to formal negotiations for peace with the country's biggest guerrilla group, known as the FARC, according to a Colombian intelligence source.

As part of the deal to hold talks, the government has agreed that leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia would not be extradited to another country to stand trial, he said.

One aide at President Juan Manuel Santos' office has flatly denied that any talks are taking place, but a second aide said only that any official word on peace dealings would come from Santos himself.

Details of the accord are still being worked out, but the negotiations could take place in Cuba or in Norway, the source said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is aware of the process and is in agreement, the source told Reuters.

...

Read more:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/27/colombia-rebels-farc-idUSL1E8JRAJQ20120827

Also confirmed by teleSUR (in Spanish):

Lunes 27 de Agosto de 2012, 11:45 am
Gobierno de Colombia y las FARC firman acuerdo para iniciar diálogos de Paz

El gobierno del presidente Juan Manuel Santos y los rebeldes de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) firmaron este lunes en La Habana, Cuba, un acuerdo para iniciar diálogos de Paz. El contenido del acuerdo será dado a conocer próximamente por el presidente colombiano quién también informará sobre la agenda temática de estos diálogos.

El Director de información de teleSUR, Jorge Enrique Botero, precisó que el medio de comunicación pudo establecer "con fuente de todo crédito que el Gobierno de Juan Manuel Santos y las FARC acaban de suscribir un acuerdo para iniciar diálogos formales de la Paz".

La instalación formal de los diálogos está prevista para el mes de octubre en la ciudad de Oslo (Noruega), “de ahí los delegados de Gobierno y guerrilla se dirigirán nuevamente a La Habana para sentarse a negociar con la aspiración de no levantarse de la mesa hasta no suscribir un pacto de paz que ponga fin a casi de 50 años de conflicto” informó.

...

Read more :

http://www.telesurtv.net/articulos/2012/08/27/santos-y-las-farc-firman-acuerdo-de-paz-en-la-habana-5250.html

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Response to gbscar (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:11 PM

1. File under 'Wishful thinking'. nt

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:20 PM

2. Maybe, but wishful thinking is fair when too much pessimism abounds. (nt)

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Response to gbscar (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 06:23 PM

3. Not when the pessimism which abounds

is grounded in hard reality.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 10:46 PM

5. It's a mix of reality...plus politics, perceptions and exaggerations. (nt)

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 12:03 PM

6. Hard to figure why someone would piss on the best news out of Colombia in 70 years.

COLGATE4, why are you pissing on it?

GRANTED, peace is difficult. GRANTED, a previous peace/disarmament resulted in rightwing death squads slaughtering some 5,000 disarmed FARC members. GRANTED, the Colombian civil war is a boondoggle for our own war profiteers and thus all the more difficult to end. GRANTED, the U.S. and Colombia war establishments will have to find something better to do than slaughtering peasants and brutally displacing FIVE MILLION peasant farmers from their lands, not to mention murdering trade unionists, teachers, community activists, human rights workers and other advocates of the poor.

GRANTED that the brutality and murderousness of this war has mostly been the doing of the U.S. funded/trained Colombian military and its closely tied rightwing paramilitary death squads (92%--about half and half, by the Colombian military and its death squads--according to Amnesty International stats on the murders of trade unionists; 2% by the FARC), with near total impunity for the military and its death squads and absolute impunity for the leaders here and there who are responsible for all this carnage.

GRANTED, the Miami Mafia and other malevolent forces here will be apoplectic with their hatred of peace and many a criminal organization will see a dip in profits. GRANTED, the conflated war on drugs, on leftist guerrillas, on peaceful leftists, on small farmers, on Indigenous tribes, on labor unions and on the poor and all of their advocates, conflated (by the Bushwhacks and their mob boss in Colombia, Alvaro Uribe) with the "war on terror," has accomplished its purposes of prepping Colombia for U.S. "free trade for the rich," expanding the Pentagon's bootprint in Latin America, and consolidating the cocaine trade into fewer hands and directing its trillion+ dollar revenue stream to U.S. banksters, the Bush Cartel, the CIA and other beneficiaries, while Big Pharma lurks in the wings with its legalization/monopoly plans.

GRANTED these and other reasons for despairing of peace in Colombia and GRANTED an understanding of the true U.S. and Colombian rightwing purposes of this war, peace is STILL good and every effort at peace should be encouraged and not pissed on in a state of ignorance of its details.

Nearly EVERY war seems like it will never end--especially civil wars and especially this civil war in Colombia. How can these sides be reconciled? How can these sides stop killing each other? How can they stop hating each other? How can a war stoked by $7 BILLION in U.S. military lucre with all of these evil purposes and godawful lies be brought to an end?

I applaud this effort at peace, despite all that I know about this civil war. ALL efforts at peace are "wishful" in this extremely heavily armed and war-torn world. What kind of a comment is that? "Wishful thinking"?

NOT killing each other is good. TALKING about the grievances behind this civil war and trying to mitigate the grievances and injustices is good. Trying to integrate the millions of disaffected people in Colombia--including the guerilla fighters--into peaceful and fair political and social processes is a good thing.

Over FIFTY THOUSAND poor Colombians have fled into neighboring Ecuador, mostly fleeing from the Colombian military, and even more have fled into Venezuela, causing a huge crisis of displaced people in those countries and highly unstable border areas. This is in addition to the enormous internal displacement crisis in Colombia--including the massive theft of peasant farm lands.

This civil war needs to be ended for the sake of peace in the entire region. The leftist governments of South America--particularly Venezuela, Ecuador and Argentina--have been trying to get a peace process going since at least 2007, and, at long last, Colombia has a leader who, though he is a rightwinger like Uribe and pro-U.S. "free trade for the rich" (a policy that is a substitute for war--it is economic warfare), values peace and is seeking peace, at least as to stopping the killing, if not as to ending gross exploitation of the poor majority.

With peace, the poor majority at least has a chance to be heard and at least has a chance to achieve civil and human rights and a more equitable society. With billions of U.S. tax dollars employed in oppressing and murdering them, and stealing what little they have--using the excuse of the armed resistance to it, and of course the laughable excuse of the "war on drugs"--they had no chance at all.

Peace has to be imagined before it can occur--as John Lennon famously said. It has to be given a chance or death and mayhem will continue, because death and mayhem profit the powerful few. Peace is therefore ALWAYS "wishful." So, why are you throwing this phrase around--"wishful thinking"? Why do you want to dampen and depress hopes for peace in Colombia? Are you depressed yourself at the state of the world? Do you have particular knowledge as to why this peace process won't work? Please enlighten us.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 12:19 PM

7. best news out of Colombia in 10 years is Sofia Vergara, before that Shakira but we can dismiss

your exaggerations on this being such wonderful news as this won't be the first time peace talks were undertaken. In fact, Uribe offered the FARC the same terms of demobilization as the paras, they didn't accept. So while it might be worth an effort, its not the earth shattering wonderful news you paint it to be and with the FARC's history of even remotely complying with any peace agreement, there is ample room for skepticism.

I'd say a good place to start is the demand that the FARC refrain from further attacks, stop conscripting 12 year olds into their network, and stop kidnapping.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 02:47 PM

9. Univision recently showed a report where the gov't

has recovered children conscripted by FARC as young as 8. There are 50+ children in Bogota at present receiving medical treatment and psychological counseling from their abuse as FARC 'fighters'.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 08:34 PM

10. Child Soldiers, recruitment in Colombia, AUC:

~snip~
The largest paramilitary group , AUC (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia) was demobilized through 2003 to 2006, but there are still vestiges of the armed group around the country. It united many smaller vigilante groups in 1997 and partook in child recruitment.

Since the demobilization of AUC, many new illegal armed groups, which include in their ranks children, have formed and are present in at least 14% of municipalities. The conflict has involved around 8,000 to 14,000 child soldiers, with 11,000 as the most cited number. Indigenous children and children of African descent are often the most vulnerable to recruitment. Government armies do not recruit children, but they do detain escaped or captured child soldiers for more than the 36 hours allowed by law in order to gather any intelligence they may have and to interrogate them, both of which are also prohibited by law. This use of children endangers them due to the retaliation by the guerilla groups that occurs.

http://www.childsoldierrelief.org/about-child-soldiers/map/colombia/

~ ~ ~

Paramilitarism in Colombia

~snip~
Paramilitary abuses in Colombia are often classified as atrocities due to the brutality of their methods, including the torture, rape, incineration, decapitation and mutilation with chainsaws or machetes of dozens of their victims at a time, affecting civilians, women and children.

Paramilitary forces in Colombia have additionally been charged with the illegal recruitment of children into the armed ranks. Though this is an offense punishable by national law, the prosecution rate for these crimes is less than 2% as of 2008.

~snip~
" mutilated bodies with chainsaws. They chained people to burning vehicles. They decapitated and rolled heads like soccer balls. They killed dozens at one time, including women and children. They buried people alive or hung them on meat hooks, carving them ... the victims ... were civilians accused of supporting the guerrillas by supplying them with food, medical supplies, or transportation."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramilitarism_in_Colombia

~ ~ ~

ETC.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 01:10 PM

11. Child solidiers, recruitment, FARC

There are over 7,400 minors in FARC and 1,400 minors (they make up one-third of all recruits) in ELN. Although ELN had pledged to stop recruiting children under the age of 16 in 1998 upon signing the Puerta del Cielo accord, there have still been reported cases of children recruited to become soldiers. And despite committing in 1999 to stop recruiting children under 15, FARC continues to do so. Partially demobilized paramilitary groups also continue to hold children in their ranks as well. The average age of recruits has decreased from 13.8 in 2002 to 12.8 in 2006.

----------------------------------------
Children receive military training, learning how to use weapons, make bombs, and think strategically. They are subject to cruel punishments and executions, and are forced to torture, dismember, and execute others (including other children) as well. War councils, where children are questioned in front of other children, bound by nylon cord and tied to a tree, and not allowed to speak, are used by FARC and ELN as punishment. AUC also binds children to trees as punishment. If a child tries to escape, they are often killed. This has created an environment of mistrust amongst these children, with many unwilling to confide with any of their peers their plans to escape, because of the real fear that they will be reported to a commander and killed.

Girls often suffer from sexual abuse and rape and are deemed fully responsible for any pregnancies that may occur. They are forced to have abortions and are injected with harmful contraceptives, even against their will. The men that they have sexual relations with often do not wear condoms. As such, girls are at risk for STIs and other health issues. For example, about 70% of girls formerly involved with guerilla groups in Santander have a sexually transmitted infection. Girls may involve themselves with these men so that their lives as soldiers may be easier. They know that they are can receive protection and privilege if they are a relationship with one of these men. Sexual exploitation of children is seriously underreported and there has been little done to reverse the situation.

http://www.childsoldierrelief.org/about-child-soldiers/map/colombia/background/

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 02:25 PM

8. You seem to mightily want to believe that the FARC

has any genuine interest in 'peace'. Nothing they have done in their entire history suggests that this is the case. Your highly romanticised take on the FARC seems to view it as some kind of a noble, selfless Robin Hood insurgent movement that is desparately longing to put down its arms and join in the political process but is only being thwarted in doing so by the dastardly machinations of the running-dog capitalists acting with the tacit support of the CIA, NSF, DEA, FBI, Wall Street (and quite possibly the Illuminati and the Masons as well). I leave you to your fantasies. After all, if John Lennon said it, it must be true.

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Response to gbscar (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 07:05 PM

4. Hi, gbscar. Thanks for this information. Hope it holds! n/t

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