News & Analysis
THE PRAGMATIST: Will FARC/Colombia Meetings in Oslo Prove Former President Uribe Correct?
FARC calls on media to 'contextualize' and 'objectively' report on peace process ... Colombia's largest rebel group FARC calls on national media to "contextualize" ongoing peace talks with the government and to "objectively explain" the preliminary deal between guerrillas and government to avoid "confusion" among citizens. According to the group, Colombia's mainstream media "... will have to ensure balance and accuracy in their work that until now, generally, has been reduced to "inform" out of context, to go after sensationalism and the scoop at any cost, to edit with a tendency to censorship and distortion regarding the insurgent actor." – Colombia Reports
Dominant Social Theme: Mainstream reporting doesn't get it right when it comes to liberation movements.
Free-Market Analysis: The Colombian government and the Marxist oriented Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) – the group that has fought the official government since 1964 – are holding peace talks in Oslo, Norway. Already the propaganda battle has begun.
FARC has called on Colombia media to be "balanced" in covering the peace talks. FARC mentioned Colombia's only two commercial television networks, RCN and Caracol, "who act, not in favor of the public interest, but the capitalist business interests." Here's more from the article above:
"Regarding a process that is of national interest, they actively prevented the country to hear the views of the insurgency in the same dimension as they allow the government's," said the FARC.
The FARC and the government, who officially opened formal talks in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on October 18, will begin talking on November 15 in Cuba.
Both parties have expressed the intention to put an end to the conflict between rebels and state that has marred the country since 1964.
FARC is obviously making its case aggressively. But there are reports circulating within Colombia that cast a different light. A commentary entitled "What happened in Oslo?" by Colonel Luis Arturo has made the rounds questioning FARC's motivations.
"The opening of the conversations in Oslo began with the passiveness of the government and the aggressiveness of the FARC [that] wants to redesign and reprogram the country [into] communist system of the ... far left," the article reads in translation. Arturo goes on to claim that Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are helping define the position of FARC regarding the talks. "The bandits do not only want the pardon ... [but also] the [Colombian] state to their service."
Former president Alvaro Uribe has been concerned that the peace process will not bring peace but only an escalation of rhetoric and then further violence. If FARC warfare picks up again, economic progress made in Colombia could be in jeopardy.
Much depends on FARC's attitude regarding the talks and whether FARC leaders are sincere or not. See other DB articles here:
Conclusion: Uribe does not believe in FARC sincerity. The next few months shall illustrate whether Uribe concerns are well founded.
Posted by Gatobuga on 11/01/12 09:19 AM
FARC is nothing but a big, huge, pile of hypocrisy and lies. The speech with which its leader officially declared the "peace talks" open was nothing more than a lot of stupid, senseless, baseless rhetoric that not even him believes. As a Colombian, in my heart, I really hope this peace process is the one and FARC are going to be over soon, but in my mind I find that very difficult to happen and I must say I agree with former president Uribe in his assessment of the situation. For the good of the country, let's hope we're both wrong...
Posted by mava on 11/01/12 01:29 AM
There can be no negotiation with the socialist, even in theory. Because the socialist not only wants to keep his own, but by the definition wants to have everything that is yours. Thus, the socialist can never be satisfied with any median.
Firstly, this is why Lenin conceptualized the idea of never ending war. He understood that to remain socialist, he can not stop until everything belonged to him.
Secondly, any socialist that understands himself, just like Lenin in the above example, also understands that any adversary who is attempting to negotiate is therefore an easy victim, because that adversary evidently is mentally incapable of clearly understanding the situation he is in.
It is like a ship attempting to negotiate with a wolf. Negotiate exactly what?
Posted by SgtBarnes on 11/01/12 12:00 AM
There is nothing to negotiate. The FARC has no real bargaining chips to play. The question remains to be "why negotiate?" What is there to gain? A strange back door alliance with Chavez? Very suspect.
Posted by Jaque on 10/31/12 02:45 PM
Uribe is correct in his cautionary warnings about FARC and its sincerity about negotiating for anything. It is grandstanding at its finest. The utter ridiculousness of FARC to criticize the media for not giving them a "fair play" is absurd on all levels. Goes to show how well the media would be treated if the communists (FARC) actually gained control of the country. Won't happen, but media censorship is a guarantee.
Here in Medellin everyone I know feels that the only way forward if via Firm Hand with a Big Heart.
Posted by laceja on 10/31/12 02:13 PM
I hate to rain on your parade, but it is not necessary to wait a few months to discover if Uribe's concerns are well founded. The FARC continues their attacks on the average Colombian. All one need do is read the papers and/or watch the evening news casts... Not limited to RCN or Caracol.
When you get away from the areas, where the FARC have the most influence (the far north and south of the country), you discover a very peaceful country. Even in those areas where the FARC are very active, the Colombian people in general are very peaceful and wonderful people to interact with. But, the FARC has a nasty habit of kidnapping young people from the very poor areas and conscripting them into their movement. For those youths, it seems not so bad because, they get better food and shoes and a uniform to wear. It makes them feel somewhat validated.
I have lived here in Colombia for nearly six years, and I can tell you, a HUGE percentage of the population would be very happy, if Alvaro, as they lovingly refer to Mr. Uribe, would return to the presidency. He has gotten a lot of criticism for his heavy handed approach, using the DAS, to keep the socialists at bay, but it worked! Now, there are more socialists, who actually support the FARC, in some very key positions. One for the record is the new mayor (alcalde), Gustavo Petro, of Bogota. Since Petro took office, public knowledge of massive corruption has stopped, but the violent crime rate in Bogota has skyrocketed. Street muggings and thefts on public transportation have surged.
President Santos is a socialist in disguise. He'll give away just about all the ground Uribe gained in his 8 years as President.
Posted by seer on 10/31/12 01:54 PM
FARC must be using the news coverage as a negotiating ploy. It cannot expect true unbiased reporting as these news corporations do not agree with FARC. On the other hand, these talks represent a continuous struggle for groups to decide how they are going to share this planet.