After months of halting but positive movement, the peace talks between the government and Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, may have hit a roadblock. That obstacle, as WPR’s Frida Ghitis wrote last week, is Colombia’s fast-approaching elections.
Ghitis warned that the electoral schedule is casting a shadow over the negotiations: “As the clock runs down to the May 2014 presidential election, the prospect of peace hangs in the balance for the country. Colombians are getting restless, taking a decidedly unfavorable view of the president and becoming increasingly suspicious of the secretive process.”
Over the past week, signs have emerged that both sides are considering pausing the talks until after the election cycle, which includes a congressional election in March. On Tuesday, President Juan Manuel Santos met with his party to discuss options for dealing with the talks in the context of the vote; on the agenda was the possibility of taking a break. Yesterday, a FARC negotiator in Havana told reporters that the rebels would be willing to put the process on hold if the government agreed.