No truth commission before Colombia peace deal signed: Govt to FARC

Posted on Mar 31 2014 - 9:35am by Rico
Humberto de la calle colombia peace talks

Colombia’s government is willing to form a “Truth Commission” along the lines of the post-Apartheid investigative bodies in South Africa, but only after a final peace agreement has been reached with the FARC, the chief government negotiator said Sunday night.

The FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group, have been calling for such a commission since the start of formal peace talks in November 2012.

“We proposed the talks on the formation of a truth commission that it fulfills all the truths, without exception, but we believe this committee should function as a product of the agreement ending the conflict. At that time, not before,” Humberto de la Calle told Colombian media.

The announcement came at the close of the latest round of talks between the FARC and the government, being held in Havana, Cuba.

“Without truth, there’s no history; without history, there’s no national consciousness. If the truth of the past is not known, we won’t be able to build a lasting peace.”

FARC asks again

Only a week ago, the FARC once again called for a truth commission.

MORE: FARC reiterate call for Colombia truth commission

The FARC have asked that an independent body be convened to fill in gaps in the historical record, referencing South Africa’s Truth Commission, which deconstructed the legacy of Apartheid in the 1990s.

MORE: Lack of ‘truth commission’ threaten Colombia’s peace talks’ progress: FARC

“We wonder: how to establish responsibilities, or how to address the issue of victims at the peace talks, repair them, and make a commitment of ‘never again,’ if we don’t establish how the violence, which resulted in six decades or more of armed conflict, began?” FARC chief negotiator alias “Ivan Marquez” said.

“Without truth, there’s no history; without history, there’s no national consciousness. If the truth of the past is not known, we won’t be able to build a lasting peace.”

Talks to start again

The latest cycle of talks begins on April 4.

The government and the FARC will continue to address the “solution to the problem of illicit drugs” agenda point, the third of six discussion points.

Sources

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