The peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group resumed in Cuba on Monday amid optimistic expectations and sadness over the death of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.

The two sides continued their sixth round of talks on land and rural development, a main cause for conflicts of over five decades.

“Since indigenous people and ethnic minorities play an important role in the society, efforts should be made to heed the views from these people,” the FARC representative, Jesus Santrich, told the press

“There should be proposals in the final peace agreement about land management, a certain degree of autonomy over land issues and special protection for the indigenous people,” Santrich said.

High expectations have been held for this round of talks as the two sides were said to have been drafting a 5-page accord on land- related issues, according to the guerrilla group.

Before the talks began, the FARC representative took a moment to pay tribute to Chavez.

“Please let me express our sincere respect for President Chavez, who is a President of peace, representing the brotherhood of Latin America,” Santrich said.

As usual, the government delegation did not make comments before or after the talks.

The peace talks began last October in Norway and was relocated to Havana, Cuba, last November, aiming to end five decades of armed conflicts that have claimed 600,000 lives since 1964.

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