Both sides were due to arrive in Norway over the weekend, in order to hold meetings before parallel press conference on Wednesday. Their arrival has been delayed by several factors, including heavy rains in Colombia which stopped some of the rebels making the journey, El Espectador reports.
The last-minute addition to the rebel team of Tanja Nijmeijer, a Dutch citizen who is fighting with the guerrillas, has also created problems. The government has questioned her inclusion because she is not a Colombian citizen, while the rebels have argued that they can freely pick the members of their team, according to El Espectador. One issue is that the authorities have not had time to review her legal situation and suspend any arrest warrants against her.
The government team is due to arrive Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Nijmeijer has climbed the ranks of the guerrilla group since joining in 2002 at the age of 24. She first came to Colombia as part of her university degree, then returned and went into to the jungle to join the guerrilla group. In 2007, the Colombian authorities released a document which they said was her personal diary, in which she questioned the ideology of the rebel movement and complained about its sexism and unfairness.
"I don't know where this project is going. How will it be when we come to power? The girlfriends of the commanders in Ferrari Testa Rossas, with breast implants, eating caviar? It seems like it," said one extract.
Media reports said that rebel boss Raul Reyes wanted to have her executed, but that Nijmeijer’s relationship with the cousin of Mono Jojoy prevented him from acting (both leaders are now dead). In 2010, there were reports that Nijmeijer had been killed in the security forces’ bombing of Mono Jojoy's camp. She is wanted in the US in connection with the kidnapping of three US contractors in 2003.
El Espectador says Nijmeijer was picked for the team by rebel leader Ivan Marquez, who is heading the FARC’s delegation, and suggests that Marquez could be trying to sabotage the process. Former Colombian President Andres Pastrana, who oversaw failed peace talks more than a decade ago, told the AP that he is concerned the FARC rebels may be divided over peace talks with the government. He said that the absence of heavyweight leaders Joaquin Gomez and Fabian Ramirez from the team could suggest internal conflicts.
Smaller rebel group the ELN may also be joining peace talks, as Colombia Reports reports.
The question we have to ask is: Is the FARC monolithically united behind this process? I don’t have that very clear. Let’s hope it is.”
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