FARC denied safe passage to Bogota to debate peace referendum

Posted on Mar 4 2014 - 8:48pm by Rico
FARC delegates in Cuba

FARC members will not be able to attend a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of a referendum, which would approve any peace accord finalized between the FARC and the Colombian Government, said a rebel press release.

According to the Tuesday press release signed by Ivan Marquez, the head of the peace delegation in Cuba, the FARC had wanted to send a small delegation. FARC representatives wanted to express the group’s opposition to the referendum proposition.  This request was reportedly denied by Colombian authorities.  The constitutionality of the public vote on a final peace agreement has yet to be defined by the highest Colombian court.

In late October 2013, the Colombian Congress passed a measure that will give the final approval of any peace agreement brokered between the FARC and the Colombian government.

MORE: Colombia Congress approves referendum to seal eventual peace deal with FARC

The FARC has been vocally opposed to this measure since President Juan Manuel Santos presented it in August of last year. FARC leaders reportedly believe that a public referendum could potentially rewrite the peace agreement after the sixth, and final, point is negotiated. The rebel group said support for this referendum is only “unilateral” and that “the government makes many determinations that should be agreed upon after (bilateral) discussions and made together.”

FARC representatives worry a post-peace accord referendum could alter the legitimacy of the negotiated points in the eventual peace agreement. Marquez added that “To affect the peace process with exogenous circumstances or elements alien to the agenda could truncate or belittle its equality.”

MORE: FARC leader rejects referendum on eventual peace deal in Colombia

The FARC is the oldest and most powerful rebel group in the Colombia.  The group has participated in peace talks with the Colombian government since November 2012, in Cuba.


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