At least 13 soldiers have been killed in an ambush led by FARC left wing-rebels in the east of Colombia on Saturday. Just hours later the government announced it would push on with peace talks with the FARC in Cuba this Monday.
The FARC declared a pause in the talks on Friday after the Colombian government announced that any peace agreement would be put to a referendum.
“It should be the Colombian people who make the final decision on the agreements that we achieve in Havana. This referendum seeks to allow a greater number of Colombians to make decisions on this matter,” announced Humberto De la Calle, lead negotiator for the Colombian government at a press conference.
President Juan Manuel Santos wants to conclude talks by the end of this year, and is betting his political legacy on their success. It would mark the end of a bloody battle which has killed more than 200,000 people since it began in 1964.