The Colombian government announced this Friday (9) the beginning of peace talks with the armed group Segunda Marquetalia. The conversations will be held in the context of the Peace Agreements promoted by President Gustavo Petro to negotiate the end of conflicts between guerrilla groups in the country.

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The joint statement was signed on February 1 and released this Friday. In the document, the Colombian government and Segunda Marquetalia, a group created by former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), committed to starting negotiations for a definitive peace agreement and “immediately” establishing prior agreements to reduce confrontations.

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The text also calls for the participation of the United Nations (UN) and the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Norway in mediating the conversations. The document was signed by the head of the Colombian government’s High Commissioner for Peace, Otty Patiño, and the commander of the guerrilla group, Iván Márquez.

Permanent dialogue with armed groups is one of the policies implemented by Petro since the beginning of his mandate in 2022. The president transformed Total Peace into a State policy following the approval of law 418, which establishes the Colombian State’s commitment to maintain contact to negotiate an end to clashes between these groups.

Negotiations with the group are in addition to other dialogue tables established by the government. So far, the State has managed to open dialogues with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Central General Staff (EMC), also arising from dissent from the FARC.

The government and the ELN extended the ceasefire until August after the 6th round of negotiations held last week in Cuba. The group was the first to sign a Peace Agreement with the Colombian State in 2016, during the government of Juan Manuel Santos. The EMC reached an agreement with the government in January to extend a ceasefire until July 15. The agreement has been valid since October 2023.

The negotiations with Segunda Marquetalia were publicized in the week that representatives of the UN Security Council visited Colombia to show support for the talks. The advisor for international affairs of the United States, Joe Finer, also met on Tuesday (06) with the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, in Bogotá to discuss the peace process.

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The guerrilla group committed to “contributing to the process of rural and urban communities and ending taxes on popular communities”. He also reaffirmed the need to lead an “agile and orderly” peace process that has political solutions.

Editing: Lucas Estanislau


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