Making peace with guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is a priority for the Colombian government leading up to 2018, President Juan Manuel Santos said Friday while setting out socio-economic projections for the next three years.
“The (aim) right now is victory, which is peace, it is the motivation that should unite all Colombians. It is a decision that obliges us to persevere, and we continue searching for it, because thanks to the sacrifice of the soldiers and army we are getting closer to that victory and that peace,” said Santos speaking during the commemoration of the 196th anniversary of the Colombian Army, in Bogota Friday.
The president, who began peace negotiations with the FARC in 2012, also proposed reducing poverty from 21.9 percent to 17.8 percent by the end of his presidential term in 2018.
Furthermore, he pledged a 6 percent growth in the economy and to generate 1.5 million jobs, reducing unemployment by 8 percent.
After over 50 years of fighting in the country between the Colombian army, paramilitary troops and guerrilla groups, over 220,000 people have been killed while many more have been disappeared or displaced.
The peace talks between the government and the FARC, have already reached several landmark agreements including land reform and tackling the drug trade.
The government and the country’s second largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army, will begin separate peace talks in September.
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