1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

FARC peace talks progress

May 17, 2014

Colombia's government and FARC rebels have announced an agreement to jointly combat illicit drug trade in the country as part of a six-point peace plan. The deal comes ahead of May 25 elections in the country.

Image: YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images

The Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) concluded an agreement Friday to fight the illicit drug trade in the South American country. The deal is part three of a six-point peace plan negotiated from the Cuban capital Havana.

"What we have agreed upon recognizes that in order to set the basis for a stable and lasting peace in Colombia, it is necessary to find a definitive solution to the problem of illicit drugs," a statement from the talks said.

Under the agreement, the FARC will divorce itself completely from the drug trade, which it had denied involvement with, claiming it only ever taxed producers. Colombian authorities, however, had accused some FARC fronts of being involved in the production and sales of drugs.

Colombia was for a long time the world's leading cocaine producer, and was only recently eclipsed by Peru.

It was the latest deal reached during months of talks in Havana, with the two sides having earlier reached agreements on rural development and the rebels' reintegration into the political process.

The sides still have to tackle the three remaining agenda items which include the laying down of weapons by the FARC, compensation for victims of the conflict, and deciding whether a final peace agreement should be put to a national referendum.

Election truce

Earlier in the day, the FARC issued a statement saying they would observe a truce during the country's May 25 presidential elections as a gesture of goodwill.

In the past, rebels have tried to disrupt elections and often dismiss the country's electoral politics as dominated by elites.

The FARC has battled a dozen governments since it began as an agrarian struggle against rural inequality but has been weakened over the past 10 years by a heavy US-backed offensive. The conflict has killed more than 200,000 people since it began almost five decades ago.

hc/av (AP, AFP)