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Colombian families demand role in FARC talks

Colombian families demand role in FARC talks
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Talks aimed at ending half a century of conflict in Colombia are to continue next month in Cuba.

The Colombian government and representatives of the Marxist FARC rebels opened negotiations in Norway this week.

But many ordinary people who have been directly affected by the conflict are demanding that they too have a place in the peace process.

Those who had lost family protested in the centre of Colombia’s capital Bogota.

Patricia Ariza from the organising group, Patriotic Union, said: “We should talk about the victims at the negotiating table. That table in Norway is very important. We have fought all our lives for a political solution to this conflict. But the negotiating table is shaky because some people are not there.”

Luz Mary Rosa, who is related to a kidnap victim, said: “We demand that the government pays attention to us, and to the Men of FARC, we want to know what they have done with our relatives who have gone missing. Why is it that now they are saying there are no kidnapping victims when there are thousands of hostages and missing persons.”

This is the latest in a long series of attempts to end the fighting that has left tens of thousands dead and millions more displaced since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was formed in 1964.

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