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Colombian rebels FARC "ready to negotiate"

The Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla organization, or FARC, said Tuesday it was willing to negotiate with President Juan Manuel Santos.

Farc female fighter 2011 05 25Enlarge
A female FARC fighter stands guard in Los Pozos, on Feb. 8, 2001. (Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)

The Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla organization, or FARC, said Tuesday it was willing to negotiate with President Juan Manuel Santos, Agence France Presse reported.

FARC’s new leader, Timoleon “Timochenko” Jimenez, who was named just two months ago, signed a statement posted on the group's website that said FARC was interested in discussing certain issues “at a hypothetical negotiating table."

More on GlobalPost: New FARC commander: "We all have to die, Santos."

According to the statement, FARC, Colombia's oldest and largest guerrilla force, wants to talk about privatization, deregulation, investment, environmental degradation, and military policy, AFP reported.

It is not known if Santos has responded to the offer by FARC, which has been at war with the government since it was founded in 1964.

In the past, Santos has said he was willing to talk to FARC members once the group released those being held hostage, and ended its attacks.

Talks between FARC and the Colombian authorities broke down in 2002, after members of the rebel group hijacked a plane, the BBC reported.

FARC has lost several thousands of fighters in recent years, with its last leader, Alfonso Cano, killed in an army raid in November.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/colombia/120110/colombia-rebels-farc-negotiate-government