Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Colombia: Peace Talks Projected to Go Well into 2015, Likely That Santos Will No Longer Be in Office

According to The Latin American Tribune and EFE, eight Colombian Army soldiers were wounded on Tuesday (August 12) when an IED was launched at them by unknown persons in the northeastern Colombian province of Arauca.

The incident occurred at 0730 hours when the soldiers were taking part in a troop movement in the area between the municipalities of Fortul and Saravena, known for a strong presence of ELN guerrillas and a smaller concentration of the FARC.

COMMENT: Last week FARC representatives in Havana intimated that the peace talks would continue well into 2015.

A foreseeable scenario is that President Juan Manuel Santos, now 62, will no longer even be in office when the FARC and the Colombian government eventually ratify a peace accord.

Then, it will be the ELN's turn at bat at which point it potentially good take several more years ratify a peace accord with the ELN.

I again respectfully register my protest that the Colombian government erred on two critical factors when it was determined that:

a. The Santos government chose NOT to insist on a trilateral cease-fire during peace negotiations with the FARC which commenced in 2012; and

b. The decision was made to negotiate separately with the FARC and ELN.

In the interim, between now and whenever peace accords with  both groups will be ratified, President Santos will very likely be out of office and continuing negotiations will seemingly continue as the human carnage continues to stack up, as Colombian civilians and members of the armed forces continue to be maimed for life, if not killed outright.

What part of this equation makes absolutely no sense at all? 

As a result of the attack, one of the soldiers was admitted in critical condition to San Vicente de Paul Hospital in Arauca, the provincial capital, where four other soldiers are receiving medical care, while the remaining three have been released.