Round 19 of Colombia’s peace talks conclude, no deal on illicit drugs yet

Posted on Jan 23 2014 - 4:04pm by Rico
(Photo: Colombia's peace delegation)

The first cycle of peace talks of 2014– the 19th since November 2012– concluded Thursday, with no agreement between Colombia’s government and the rebel group FARC on the current agenda item, the guerrillas’ involvement in drug trafficking.

This round, which began January 3, has not produced any joint statements or declarations from the Colombian and FARC delegations, which has become custom during the past 13 months.

However this has not prevented the FARC from outlining several proposals on the subject. The FARC has already released two major statements containing proposed solutions thus far, with the explicit focus being protecting farmers who produce crops that make illicit drugs and overall decriminalization.

MOREFARC peace proposal aims to protect coca, poppy, and marijuana growers

Thursday morning prior to closing this round, the FARC also released five sub-points outlining alternate uses for coca, poppy, and marijuana crops.

A FARC press release specifically mentioned, “the dietary, nutritional, medicinal, therapeutic, artisanal, industrial and cultural uses of the coca, poppy and marijuana crops,” and said that these uses, “should be recognized and even promoted.”

Adam Isacson, drug policy and Colombia expert from the NGO Washington on Latin America (WOLA), supposed that the FARC might have difficulty trying to create a legal market for these crops moving forward, and that doing so might slow the peace process.

“If the FARC is serious about pushing more legalization, they’re going to have trouble. And that could slow [the peace process] down,” said the Latin American pundit.

MOREFARC’s drug cultivation legalization proposal unrealistic for Colombia: Drug Policy Expert

The solution to illicit drugs is the third agenda item of six total to be discussed during peace talks headquartered in Havana, Cuba. Though no documents have been publicly released on them, the first two items of agrarian reform and political participation have already been agreed on between the FARC and the government.

Sources

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