FARC insist on ‘constituent assembly’ to seal Colombia peace talks

Posted on Dec 23 2013 - 11:48am by Editor
Ivan Marquez (Photo: Youtube)

Colombia’s oldest rebel group FARC presented 12 minimum proposals for the formation of a constituent assembly, as ongoing negotiations with the government in Havana, Cuba, will be suspended over Christmas until January 13.

As the rebel group mentioned in their press release, as they “do not want only cosmetic changes, but structural changes,” this would call for a “National Constituent Assembly for peace, real democracy and national reconciliation” that Colombia’s people “must endorse” as part of the popular referendum which is to seal an eventual peace deal between the two parties.

Regarding this constituent assembly, the organization presented 12 minimum proposals:

  1. Given the importance of all the topics that are part of the peace talks’ agenda, according to the FARC, the formation of constituent assembly would be necessary as part of the referendum process that should seal the eventual deal.
  2. The constituent assembly should represent Colombia’s people as the country’s “primary and sovereign constituent.”
  3. In order the represent Colombia’s people, the FARC proposed to create a  ”Great National Political Agreement for a National Constituent Assembly,” that should achieve a broad social and popular mobilization and participation.
  4. In order to ensure a broad popular mobilization, the FARC called for the inclusion of “the marginalized, discriminated and segregated social sectors,” especially mentioning the peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.
  5. Stressing that “the armed guerrilla uprising was not against a particular government, but against the state as a whole,” the rebel group mentioned that the “National Political Agreement” should also include all public authorities as a sign of the state’s will to achieve “peace with social, stable and lasting justice.”
  6. To ensure the constituent assembly’s legal and political feasibility it should be implemented according to constitutional laws already in place.
  7. The purpose of the assembly should be “to define the normative foundations for national reconciliation and peace” in accordance with the 1991 Constitution, so that the new constitution would actually be based on an eventual peace deal between the FARC and government.
  8. According to the FARC this should happen in a dual process that grants constitutional status to the peace talks’ results, while they are being confirmed by Colombia’s people at the same time.
  9. The new assembly would be composed of 141 members from all sectors of society, including members of the rebel groups whose figure will determined in the final peace agreement.
  10. The assembly’s members would be assigned in three processes. While the rebel groups should appoint their members directly, a certain number of seats would be reserved excluded communities such as peasants, indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians and members of the LGBTI communities. The rest of the members would be appointed in “general and direct elections.”
  11. The main objective of the constituent assembly would be to improve the 1991 Constitution concerning “fundamental rights of indigenous and African descent communities,” and to “discuss issues that have not been agreed on during the peace talks.”
  12. Similar to the Constituent Assembly of 1990, a smaller legislative body will be formed that will administer the laws necessary for the continuation of the democratic functioning of the country, until the new constitution will come into force.

Peace talks now ended their 18th round discussing the FARC’s involvement in drug trafficking while compensation for the human rights victims of the conflict is the next point on the agenda, before a final sixth agreement ratifies the entire process between the two parties.

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