Top Story — Colombia’s FARC rebels on Wednesday announced they will observe a unilateral ceasefire starting on July 20, a positive sign amid a recent escalation of tensions between the guerrilla group and the government.
FARC negotiator Iván Márquez said in Havana, Cuba, that the group hopes for the government to return the gesture and call a truce, but as the BBC reported, President Juan Manuel Santos said in a Twitter post that “more is needed” before Colombia’s security forces halt offensive operations. Talks are ongoing between Santos’ government and the FARC in Havana.
Violence has escalated in recent months, after FARC guerrillas ambushed a military patrol on April 15, killing 11 soldiers. This prompted the government to reverse its earlier suspension of bombing raids against the FARC. Later, on May 22, the group called off its unilateral ceasefire, as the BBC notes.
Despite the escalation in the conflict since then, which has involved several attacks on oil and electrical infrastructure by the FARC as well as increased casualties on both sides, negotiations in Havana have continued apace.
Just Published in The Latin America News Dispatch
For more on the FARC’s announcement of a unilateral truce and what it means for the peace talks, check out our latest piece from regular contributor Leonardo Goi.
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