Colombia Cites Disagreements With FARC as Peace Deadline Missed

  • Peace negotiators agreed 6 months ago to sign deal by March 23
  • Talks to end half-century-old guerrilla conflict began in 2012

The Colombian government cited “important disagreements” with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, after the two sides failed to sign a final peace deal Wednesday after more than three years of talks.

“Some months ago we agreed that today, March 23, we would sign the final deal. This was agreed by the commander of the FARC -- nevertheless, it wasn’t possible,” the government’s chief peace negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, said in a statement. “At the moment, there remain important disagreements with the FARC on key topics.”

The government and the guerrillas have been holding talks in Cuba since 2012, seeking a deal to end a conflict that began more than half a century ago. Colombian President Juan Manual Santos said that a deal would be finalized within six months, after he shook hands with FARC leader Rodrigo Londono in Havana last September.

The negotiators will continue to hold talks, de la Calle said, without mentioning a new deadline. Santos this month hinted that a final deal could be delayed, saying he wouldn’t accept a bad deal merely to comply with a deadline. The FARC has been fighting since 1964 for a Cuban-style revolution in the Andean nation.

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