As a result of the announcement, the second biggest paramilitary group in the Country, the ELN, has also come forward asking to be involved in the talks.
Whilst a majority of the Country are behind this decision, many are sceptical as to whether it will succeed, and there are a few who are openly against these negotiations, including the Former President Alvaro Uribe, one has to wonder why. A number of Uribe's former Senior Generals have recently been indicted in the U.S. for their connections and involvement with the paramilitaries and drug trafficking, in view of that you are left thinking that maybe Uribe has his own Agenda here.
All sides have stated that they have no intention of ceasing hostilities whilst this process in underway, which makes the situation a little surreal. Personally I think that many people will be disappointed, because they will expect an outcome to the meetings in October, which after 48 years of unrest is unrealistic, but hopefully it will build a platform from which Peace can be found for a country that is ready and eager to embrace it.
To those I have spoken to, I liken the situation to that of Northern Ireland, and the protracted negotiations between the British Government and Sinn Fein / IRA, it will not happen overnight, but if the will is there on both sides, then it is an obtainable goal.
I will be following this with great interest...history in the making!
As an aside...The President nearly ran into us yesterday! Well, he was in Bello, to announce the appointment of his new Minister of Transport, we were on the way to Carrefour to to some shopping, and thought the Transito (Traffic Police) were very obliging whistling us through every set of lights, then once we were on the Autopista, the flashing lights came up behind, and we were waved over to the slow lane, to be past by Army, Swat Teams, Motorcyclists, and a very posh white expensive 4x4 with flashing lights, unfortunately it had blacked out windows, otherwise if I had known it was him, I would have given him a wave!!! I was surprised at his Security arrangements though, rather than being in the middle of the convoy, he was tail-end charlie, which left him vunerable to attack from behind! We found out who it was, in the Press today!
UPDATE: The Paramilitaries have now stated their willingness to hold a ceasefire during the talks, however there has been no comment from the Government so far.