Alias Simón Trinidad, photo El Mundo

 

Colombia´s FARC guerrillas are scheduled to meet President Juan Manuel Santos´government in Oslo today ahead of a press conference on Wednesday to announce details of the official start of peace talks.

Although secret talks have taken place over more than a year, today´s meeting will be the first time the teams meet to begin the formal process of negotiating an end to the armed conflict which Colombia has lived with for nearly 50 years.

In this article, as part of a special series of reports on the peace talks, Colombia Politcs explores who the top team negotiators are, and what the agenda for the talks is.

Alongside this team there is also a second, sub group (each team has 10 in the team). It has been ´confirmed´too that the ELN will be present, as observers.

The government team:

Jorge Enrique Mora Rangel – Former Army commander.

Role: The voice of the armed forces. Who: During the government of Andrés Pastrana he was Army chief, and was highly critical of the process in Caguán.

 

Luis Carlos Villegas – Former President of ANDI

Role: Representative of the private sector, and business. Who:  Various diplomatic roles, secretary general of the National Federation of Coffee Growers, and former president of the National Association of Businessmen, ANDI.

Humberto de la Calle Lombana – Statesman

Role: Spokesman for the government negotiating team, and top politician. Who: Eternal statesman, Humberto de la Calle has been a supreme court judge, an ambassador, Vice President in the government of Ernesto Samper, and Interior Minister in the Pastrana administration.

Oscar Naranjo Trujillo – Former police chief

Role: Naranjo has been essential in warming up the police to the idea of the peace talks; a conduit to the forces. Who: Naranjo was police chief from 2007, retiring in June this year. He has even been touted as a potential future president.

 

Sergio Jaramillo – Peace Commissioner

Role: Official peace commissioner, has been present throughout the phases of negotiation. Who: Jaramilla is considered to be one of the authors of the Democratic Security doctrine of the Álvaro Uribe government and is valued for his coolness and ability to strategize.

 

 The FARC team:

Rodrigo Granda – alias ‘Ricardo Téllez’

Who: FARC ´foreign minister´, who worked alongside Raul Reyes in establishing the ´foreign committee´. He was captured in Venezuela and then released by President Álvaro Uribe as part of the attempts to release Ingrid Betancourt.

 

Jesús Carvajalino – alias, ‘Andrés París’

Who: Member of the ´foreign committee´and has been a negotiator
in the last three peace processes.

 

Luciano Marín Arango – alias ‘Iván Márquez’

Who: The FARC´s spokesman in the process. Márquez is second in command of the FARC Secretariat. Was Congressman for the Unión Patriotica between 1991 and 1992.

 

Luis Alberto Albán – alias ‘Marco León Calarcá’

Who: Part of the ´foreign policy team´of the FARC, and leader of the Mexican front. Present in Caguán.

 

Ricardo Palmera – alias ‘Simón Trinidad’

Who: Palmera is imprisoned in the USA, serving a 60 year sentence (and his participation is dependent on US co-operation). Born into a rich family, Trinidad rose through the FARC´s ranks to become a commander of the group´s Caribbean front. Also present in Caguán.

The agenda

The agenda for the talks was established during the exploratory phase of the discussions, in Havana.

There are five thematic issues.

1. Agricultural development policy – agrarian reform. 

Agreement will be sought on the following areas:

  • Access and land use
  • Territorial specific development programmes
  • Infrastructure
  • Social development: health, education, housing, poverty eradication
  • Providing stimulus to agricultural production
  • Food safety.

2. Political Participation

Agreement will be sought on the following areas:

  • Rights and guarantees for the exercise of political opposition
  • Democratic mechanisms for participation
  • Measures to promote greater political participation across the board.

3. Ending the conflict

Agreement will be sought on the following areas:

  • Ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, (bilateral and definitive)
  • Laying down of arms
  • Integration of the FARC into civilian life
  • Government review of those captured for links to the FARC
  • Government´s fight against criminal organizations
  • Government institutional reforms necessary to build peace
  • Security guarantee (think Unión Patriotica).

4. Finding a solution to the problem of illicit drugs

Agreement will be sought on the following areas:

  • Public health programmes
  • Prevention programmes
  • Production and trafficking.

5. Victims

Agreement will be sought on the following areas:

  • Human rights of the victims.
  • Truth commission

The sixth item on the agenda relates to the logistics of the implementation (and monitoring) of the agreement.

Colombia Politics will follow the process and not only provide reports as the talks progress, but also analysis and commentary on the political temperature in Colombia.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kevin is a political consultant and lobbyist who cut his teeth working in the UK Parliament. He is a regular panelist on Colombian television, a political communication strategist and a university lecturer. Kevin is the founder and editor of Colombia Politics.

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