MIAMI – Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, said he feared the “death” of the peace process in his country during an interview by a Spanish language broadcaster in the United States.
“We can go from limbo to hell, and we have to save this peace process,” Marquez, whose real name is Luciano Marin, said during an interview in Cuba broadcast on Monday by television network Univision.
“We have to listen to everyone, but not over a very long period of time, because this process is dying,” the guerrilla leader told journalist Daniel Coronell.
Peace in Colombia is in limbo after an Oct. 2 referendum in which voters rejected a peace deal between FARC and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.
“It is the game of democracy. The ‘No’ campaign precariously won over the ‘Yes,’ but it’s a win anyway. The FARC are open for seeking solutions to this impasse,” the negotiator said.
Marquez referred to the current ceasefire, which the Colombian government has extended until Dec. 31, and said he was willing to “do anything to maintain the current situation.”
On Oct. 14, Santos announced the extension of the bilateral ceasefire with FARC, which has been in force since Aug. 29, and said that it was “not an ultimatum nor a deadline,” but a sign of his hope for a new agreement.
Marquez said renegotiating the agreement was a very complex issue and that the two sides would have to participate in years of further negotiation.
He added that the agreement needed a solid foundation for negotiations otherwise there would be further delays and a risk that the process would collapse.
The FARC negotiator said in the interview that the group still wanted peace.
“We will fight with all our strength for a political solution to the conflict. We don’t want more deaths. Extending this state of uncertainty of the final agreement will produce more deaths, more victims. And we want to avoid that at all costs,” Marquez said.