miércoles, 30 de octubre de 2013

Colombian rebels see "menace to peace" in presidential candidate

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the communist guerrilla force negotiating a peace deal with Colombia in Havana, reacted on 29 October to the election of a new conservative candidate for the 2014 elections by calling him a "clear menace to peace" and a "puppet in the service of war." The party of the former conservative president Álvaro Uribe Vélez - the Uribe Democratic Centre - elected on 26 October Óscar Iván Zuluaga Escobar, a former finance minister as its candidate for 2014. He has already vowed to renew Mr Uribe's strong-arm tactics against crime and guerrillas and was cited as saying talks with the FARC should stop "now," Europa Press reported on 30 October, citing Colombian press reports. Mr Uribe and his supporters have fiercely criticised the talks and practicallly accused President Juan Manuel Santos of giving into terrorism. On 29 October President Santos told a gathering of youngsters in Chía outside Bogotá that his government would "persevere" in seeking peace but "not at any price as some are saying," the Presidential website reported. "We shall continue to advance in this direction" he said, even as "our Army and Police commanders will continue their military and police offensive to protect Colombians, their integrity and security." He said he wanted to see youngsters live in a country at peace "for the first time in 50 years." Colombia is to hold legislative elections in March 2014 and presidential elections in late May.