Bolivian President Evo Morales said her proposals should be “considered seriously.’’
“Three or four years ago, I said that U.N. headquarters should be moved because we don’t really feel safe here,” Morales said at a news conference. “The center of insecurity is the United States. In addition to that, they try to control and monitor as imperialists.’’
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos used his opening day speech to ask for help in ending what he called the “oldest and last conflict in the Western Hemisphere,” and to defend the country’s 11-month old peace talks with the FARC guerrillas.
“What we are asking from the U.N. and the international community is to respect Colombia’s right, and the right of every nation, to pursue peace,” he said. “We ask you to keep accompanying us in this effort . . . and trusting that our decisions have never been against the international community’s needs.”
The FARC and the government have been meeting in Havana since last year but progress has been slow — only clearing one item on the six-point agenda. On Tuesday, Santos warned the rebels that the nation’s patience “is not infinite.”
“The time for decisions has come,” he said. “If we come out empty-handed, we will condemn our nation to many more years of bloodshed and pain.”
The government also announced that Uruguayan President Jose Mujica — himself a former guerrilla — offered to host eventual peace talks between Colombia and the smaller National Liberation Army, or ELN, guerrilla group. Both the FARC and ELN are considered terrorist organizations by Colombia and the United States.
Miami Herald Bureau Chief Jim Wyss in Bogotá contributed to this story.