TOLEMAIDA, Colombia — President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday night rejected a proposal by Colombia’s main leftist rebel movement to observe a cease-fire during peace talks that are to begin next month in Norway.
Leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said hours earlier during a news conference in Cuba that their first item on the negotiations’ agenda would be to propose a truce in the half-century of fighting that has killed tens of thousands.
Santos said that would not happen. He said the Colombian military and police had been instructed to intensify offensive actions against the rebels.
A decade ago, talks fell through after Colombia had ceded a Switzerland-sized swath of terrain as a safe haven for the FARC, which used it as a base to continue waging war elsewhere, extorting, kidnapping and expanding its cocaine trafficking activities.