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Bogota (AFP) Nov 12, 2012
The Colombian government and leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels hold peace talks in Havana on Thursday aimed at ending Latin America's longest-running civil conflict.
Here are key dates in the conflict:
- May 27, 1964: The Colombian armed forces attack the "Republic of Marquetalia," a group of rebel farmers. The survivors set up the "Southern Bloc," which the pro-Communist FARC see as their founding moment.
- March 28, 1984: The FARC agree on a truce and start negotiations with the government of conservative president Belisario Betancur (1982-1986).
- October 11, 1987: The truce ends when a hitman murders Jaime Pardo, presidential candidate of the Patriotic Union, a leftist group sympathetic to the FARC. Far-right paramilitary groups launch a killing spree, killing 3,000 PU leaders.
- June 1, 1991: The FARC start peace talks with the government in Caracas. In March 1992, the talks move to Mexico, but break off in June.
- January 7, 1999: Conservative president Andres Pastrana starts peace talks with the FARC and creates a demilitarized zone the size of Switzerland in southeast Colombia to try to facilitate progress.
- June 2, 2001: The FARC agrees to release 250 police and military hostages in exchange for dozens of jailed rebels.
- February 20, 2002: Following high-profile FARC abductions, Pastrana says the peace process has broken down and sends troops into southeast Colombia.
- February 23, 2002: Rebels kidnap presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
- August 7, 2002: Alvaro Uribe takes power promising to crush the FARC; rebels attack the presidential compound, killing 21 people.
- February 7, 2003: Thirty-six people are killed when a car bomb detonates at a Bogota nightclub.
- March 1, 2008: Colombian troops strike a jungle rebel camp inside Ecuador, killing the FARC's number-two leader Raul Reyes.
- May 25, 2008: The FARC announces the death of its founder, Manuel Marulanda, who died of a heart attack a month earlier.
- July 2, 2008: Betancourt, who holds both Colombian and French citizenship, is freed in a military raid along with three US hostages and 11 Colombian police and military personnel.
- September 23, 2010: Jorge Briceno, the FARC's military chief, is killed in a Colombian military raid.
- November 4, 2011: Top FARC commander Alfonso Cano is killed in a military strike.
- February 26, 2012: The FARC pledges to stop kidnapping civilians and free remaining police and military hostages.
- September 4, 2012: Santos announces that peace talks will be held with the FARC under the auspices of Norway and Cuba.
- October 18, 2012: Peace talks are formally launched in Hurdal, a small town north of Oslo. The two sides agree to meet again in Havana on November 15.
The Long War - Doctrine and Application
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