17:38 GMT04 August 2020
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    The Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia or FARC will participate in a presidential race for the first time since the group was founded in the 1960s. Sputnik spoke with Oscar Moreno Martinez, researcher at the University of Edinburgh, to gain insight on how Colombian politics will develop in 2018.

    Sputnik: Could a former FARC leader actually be elected president and if not who would be the most likely candidate to do so?

    Oscar Moreno Martinez: I don't believe that a former FARC leader could actually be elected president because once the transitional justice system starts working, any FARC leader won't be able to actually perform or participate in politics, before they fulfill what the transitional justice systems says.

    For them, I think that it's not an option, so the reason they are showing themselves as political actors in the electoral way, is for pushing somehow a step further towards peace talks.

    I don't think they really have a chance of winning and If they won I don't think it would be a sensible decision for Colombia.

    Sputnik: What role does FARC currently play in Colombian politics?

    Oscar Moreno Martinez: They do have a role in reconciliation on the one hand and on the other, they have a role in local politics. There are zones in Colombia currently, that support FARC, that's not a secret there is popular support from some areas in Colombia, but they are very local and in specific areas.

    I think their role is not in high level politics, but in local areas.

    Sputnik: Has the overall situation in Colombia improved since the signing of the FARC peace deal?

    Oscar Moreno Martinez: The number of wounded soldiers went down by 97% percent, between 2011 and 2017. That's a huge improvement, we now have less dead people, fewer casualties caused by the war, less wounded soldiers and for now; I think that is enough.

    READ MORE: Colombia FARC Group Officially Registers Its Political Party

    It's a huge improvement of the overall situation in Colombia. I have to say, that there have been many problems in the implementation of the negotiations with FARC and the government and that's almost obvious. There have been many problems at this stage, but overall the improvement has been positive.

    The views and opinions expressed by Oscar Moreno Martinez are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia
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