Colombia peace talks start in Havana – Who’s Who

Peace talks get under way in earnest in Havana on Monday nearly three months after negotiators for Colombia’s government and the FARC signed a roadmap that includes a five-point agenda. Up first is land reform, though the start of talks was delayed a few days as both sides hashed out the design of a website that will allow “civil society” to provide input.

The Santos government is trying to keep the substance of the negotiations from the news media until such time as both sides have announcements to make. We’ll see how that goes. We’ve profiled the two top negotiators, the Dutch guerrilla Tanja Nijmeijer and Simon Trinidad, the FARC commander penned up at the maximum-security prison in the Rocky Mountains where the United States holds its most notorious convicted terrorists. Trinidad’s story highlights the depth of U.S. involvement in the conflict. It also helps explain why reaching a peace agreement will be so difficult.

If you read Spanish, I highly recommend ‘Libranos del Bien’ to get a good sense of the society that bred Trinidad and the paramilitary warlord Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, aka Jorge 40. He’s also now in a U.S. prison.