viernes, 12 de octubre de 2012

Hugo Chávez seen with key role in Colombian talks

Álvaro Leyva Durán, a former Colombian minister and "facilitator" of previous parleys with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), speculated that the outcome of peace talks with the FARC, to begin on 15-17 October, would depend more on the interventions of Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chávez than on the Colombian president's "goodwill." Venezuela is "accompanying" talks intended to end decades of guerrilla conflict in Colombia, and seen as having considerable leverage with the FARC. Leyva recently told the newspaper El Colombiano that he was certain President Juan Manuel Santos had "shared the keys" to the talks with Chávez, "to hasten the dialogue." It is "important people should know this. This process will have more to do with what Chávez can do than any goodwill the president might have" he said in remarks published on 12 October. He observed that the conflict with the FARC was now "internationalized" in spite of being internal, for its ideological nature and with the United States' involvement, for the FARC's alleged drug trafficking. To attain lasting peace he said, Colombia would have to unilaterally impose a "full-stop" legal formula ruling out subsequent prosecution and arrests of those involved in the conflict. "I do not think the gentlemen of the FARC...will submit to formulae...applied to the paramilitaries. They do not submit because they believe this implies juridical insecurity," Leyva said, referring to disarmament conditions for thousands of right-wing paramilitaries. Some paramilitary leaders were now serving jail terms for different crimes. Leyva said such a formula should cover "all those who are a part of this conflict," allegedly many. The war was not just with the FARC he said, but with "those who financed the war, with banana growers; there are many officials who combined their strengths and desire to overcome the enemy with the paramilitaries. Many civil servants lost control." Leyva, a member of the Conservative Party, was Colombia's mines and energy minister in 1984-5. Also on 12 October the FARC published on a website a message sent earlier to congratulate Hugo Chávez on his re-election to the presidency on 7 October, EFE reported.