Latin America & Caribbean

Colombians voice their views on the peace process

A person wearing a hat which says "Paz" (peace) attends a commemoration for victims of the armed conflict in Colombia Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Colombians want peace for their country but some are not convinced by the current negotiations

Another round of peace talks is due to start on Tuesday between Colombian government negotiators and members of Colombia's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

It is the first round since the two sides missed a self-imposed deadline of 23 March to sign a final agreement.

Both sides said they needed more time to settle a number of outstanding issues.

The meeting is also the first since the government announced it would also start formal talks with the second-largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN).

BBC Mundo's Colombia correspondent Natalio Cosoy asked Colombians for their thoughts on the peace process and how they would vote if a final peace agreement was put to a referendum, as President Juan Manuel Santos has said it will.

Francisco Augusto Preciado Alarcon, 31-year-old builder

Image copyright Eugenia Rodríguez Pería

"I have no confidence in the peace process because the guerrilla groups have a very long presence in Colombia.

"The current government doesn't convince me. I don't like the president.

"Here [in Colombia] there are many armed groups.

"If a deal is signed with the guerrilla that will be good. But there are other groups, there are [right-wing] paramilitaries. What is going to happen with these groups?

"I will vote against the deal [in a referendum] because there will never be a successful peace process in Colombia."

Lina Maria Naranjo Orozco, 20 years old. Tourism and hotel management student

Image copyright Eugenia Rodríguez Pería

"I have very little faith [in the peace process]. I feel the government doesn't have the strength to achieve peace for this country.

"But I think it would be very useful [if a peace deal could be signed], especially for younger people like myself, the new generation.

"I'm undecided on the referendum, leaning a bit towards 'yes', a bit towards 'no'."

Cesar Saleh. 35 years old. Actor

Image copyright Eugenia Rodríguez Pería

"I think both sides have the political will [to reach a final deal].

"We are tired of war. I believe it's a great opportunity for an illegal armed group to be re-integrated into society. They [the guerrilla] are also Colombian.

"I think [if a deal is signed] we will enter into a post-conflict era, in which the country has to help re-integrate the guerrillas. I believe resources can be re-directed towards education, social welfare, art, theatre.

"I think I will vote yes to a peace agreement because it is a unique chance.

"We need to give ourselves the opportunity to forgive and create a new country and move past the rancour and hatred caused by so many years of war."

Ismael Martinez Fuentes, 19, works in a warehouse

Image copyright Eugenia Rodríguez Pería

"I have very little confidence in the peace process. The poor soldiers who risk their lives for the motherland continue to be killed all the time.

"I think a peace deal would not change much. Peace is impossible to achieve, because there are too many bad people.

"I would vote against a peace deal."

William Pulgarin. 52-years old. Self-employed.

Image copyright Eugenia Rodríguez Pería

"I don't have much faith in the peace process because there have been so many lies told, I don't know what to believe.

"But if a peace deal is signed I do think it would change things massively.

"There would be more social investment, more employment. Everything would get better for the people.

"I haven't thought about how I would vote in a referendum, I need to think it through a it more."

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