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Cuba: FARC and Colombian government make peace talks breakthrough01:18

Cuba: FARC and Colombian government make peace talks breakthrough

Cuba, Havana
May 27, 2013 at 08:55 GMT +00:00 · Published

Cuba: FARC and Colombian government make peace talks breakthrough

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, reached an agreement on land reform in Havana on Sunday. The issue of land reform was widely seen as one of the most controversial items on the agenda for peace talks currently taking place in the Cuban capital. FARC leaders and government representatives shook hands in Havana to mark the agreement.

FARC and the Colombian government have been engaged in combat since 1964.

The agreement between the two sides means that those who lost their land or were displaced during the conflict will be compensated. An estimated 2.4 to 4 million people have been displaced by the fighting, the largest ongoing conflict in South America.

Present at the talks were FARC leader Luciano Marin Arango, also known as "Ivan Marquez," and the head of the Colombian government delegation, former Colombian Vice President Humberto de la Calle. Both men spoke at a press conference after the talks, which have been taking place in Havana since November 2012 after moving from Oslo, Norway.

"This closing event of a thematic cycle is also the opening of a transcendental debate around Colombian democracy," said Marquez. "Imperative structural changes are knocking on the state's door asking for citizen's participation in decision-making and in adopting policies, both of which can jeopardise the future dignity of citizens."

Added de la Calle: "The keystone of this agreement is the reassertion of the peasant's dignity. A historical change, a rebirth of the Colombian land that can be done in the end stage of the armed conflict."

The agreement between FARC and the Colombian government also opens the way for discussions on other key issues, such as drug trafficking, victims' compensation, and the integration of FARC members into Colombian society. The conflict has claimed over 100,000 lives. The Colombian government has received significant support in the conflict from the United States, and during the 1990s Colombia was the largest recipient of US aid after only Egypt and Israel.

Cuba: FARC and Colombian government make peace talks breakthrough01:18
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Cuba: FARC and Colombian government make peace talks breakthrough

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, reached an agreement on land reform in Havana on Sunday. The issue of land reform was widely seen as one of the most controversial items on the agenda for peace talks currently taking place in the Cuban capital. FARC leaders and government representatives shook hands in Havana to mark the agreement.

FARC and the Colombian government have been engaged in combat since 1964.

The agreement between the two sides means that those who lost their land or were displaced during the conflict will be compensated. An estimated 2.4 to 4 million people have been displaced by the fighting, the largest ongoing conflict in South America.

Present at the talks were FARC leader Luciano Marin Arango, also known as "Ivan Marquez," and the head of the Colombian government delegation, former Colombian Vice President Humberto de la Calle. Both men spoke at a press conference after the talks, which have been taking place in Havana since November 2012 after moving from Oslo, Norway.

"This closing event of a thematic cycle is also the opening of a transcendental debate around Colombian democracy," said Marquez. "Imperative structural changes are knocking on the state's door asking for citizen's participation in decision-making and in adopting policies, both of which can jeopardise the future dignity of citizens."

Added de la Calle: "The keystone of this agreement is the reassertion of the peasant's dignity. A historical change, a rebirth of the Colombian land that can be done in the end stage of the armed conflict."

The agreement between FARC and the Colombian government also opens the way for discussions on other key issues, such as drug trafficking, victims' compensation, and the integration of FARC members into Colombian society. The conflict has claimed over 100,000 lives. The Colombian government has received significant support in the conflict from the United States, and during the 1990s Colombia was the largest recipient of US aid after only Egypt and Israel.