Colombian rebels open door for talks

Colombians protest in Bogota against the FARC guerilla group on December 6, 2011.

Story highlights

  • The FARC's new leader suggests a "hypothetical negotiating table"
  • The rebel group has been at war with the government since the 1960s
  • It has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years
Colombia's main leftist group suggested on Monday it is willing to reopen talks with the government.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, has been at war with the state since the 1960s. While severely weakened in recent years, the guerrilla group has continued to carry out kidnappings and attack security forces.
In a statement, the FARC said it would be interested in addressing certain issues at a "hypothetical negotiating table." It called on the government of President Juan Manuel Santos to speak to such subjects as privatization, deregulation and the degradation of the environment.
The statement was signed by the FARC's new leader, who goes by Timoleon Jimenez.
"This conflict will have no solution until our voices are heard. Without lies, Santos, without lies," it read.
In November, a military operation killed then-FARC leader Alfonso Cano. Following his death, the group said it would not not end its guerrilla struggle. Santos described the killing then as the nation's "most overwhelming blow" against the rebel organization.