miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2012

Colombian president hopeful over peace talks

President Juan Manuel Santos said in Bogotá on 12 September that peace talks planned for October with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could be shorter "than many imagine" and yield results fast enough to "surprise" their critics - among them his predecessor Álvaro Uribe Vélez, the broadcaster Caracol reported that day. He was speaking at the formal appointment of a former mayor Luis Eduardo Garzón as presidential adviser on social dialogue, who he said would play a "fundamental" role in this peace process. Radio Caracol cited the president as giving June 2013 as a deadline for talks to yield concrete results if they were not to be abandoned, Europa Press reported. Santos also urged thousands of demobilized right-wing paramilitaries to sign a truth pact, revealing their past activities in order to receive social benefits including full reintegration into society. Several former paramilitaries signed this pact during the ceremony. He said the confessions would not be used as legal evidence "against anyone;" he urged the private sector to employ disarmed paramilitaries, and termed this an "important investment" for peace in Colombia.