Rebels ask Carter to join truth commission

Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

HAVANA, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The guerrilla group FARC has asked ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter to join a panel that would examine charges the Colombian rebels stole large parcels of land.

Colombian officials say FARC rebels have taken more than 2,000 square miles of land in the Chaqueta region of central Colombia through violent means, Colombia Reports said Wednesday.

Movement in the ongoing peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government "cannot risk distorting the truth around the historical responsibility for the violent accumulation," said FARC's chief negotiator, Ivan Marquez.

Speaking in Havana where the peace talks are being conducted, Marquez called for Carter to be part of a commission comprised of representatives from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Colombian government and FARC delegates.

The high-level commission would "clarify the truth," he added.

Carter, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was in Bogota, Colombia, in January to assess the peace talks.

Marquez disputed claims by the government that guerrillas were responsible for 37 percent of all displacements in the country.

He said the charges "disfigure reality" to divert attention from who was truly responsible for the theft of nearly 19.7 million acres.

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