Colombian peace negotiator demands FARC hand in weapons

Paintings of the founders of Colombia's guerrilla group, the FARC, are seen during a news conference in HavanaBy Rosa Tania Valdés HAVANA (Reuters) – A retired Colombian general who is on the government’s peace negotiating team on Thursday demanded that FARC rebels hand in their weapons in an unexpected riposte to guerrilla criticism of the Colombian military. Jorge Enrique Mora broke with the government team’s typical discretion when he lashed out at the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as the two sides begin a new round of negotiations that seek to end Latin America’s longest running war. The broadside also comes as center-right President Juan Manuel Santos is locked in a difficult re-election battle with right-wing rival Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who has accused the Santos government of being soft on the guerrillas in negotiations. “Despite everything they have said in recent days, they have to turn in their weapons in order to join society and Colombia’s democratic system,” Mora told reporters in Havana, where talks have been taking place for a year and a half.