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Gustavo Petro proposes a bilateral ceasefire to start the peace process with the ELN


The elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, proposed a bilateral ceasefire with the ELN to begin negotiations for a peace agreement, canceled during the government of Iván Duque.

(CNN Spanish) --

The elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, proposed on Tuesday a bilateral ceasefire with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in order to begin negotiations for a peace agreement, which were canceled during the government of outgoing President Iván Duque.

"Today in Colombia the time for peace has come," Petro said in an interview with the Colombian network WRadio.

"Through various instruments, what I request is a ceasefire that will be bilateral and the beginning of judicial negotiations in most cases, and political negotiations in the minority of cases to end the war in Colombia. Petro announced this Tuesday.

The president-elect said that during his government, which will begin on August 7, he will begin negotiations with the ELN again, recognize the protocols and call on the countries that are guarantors of this negotiation to become guarantors again to reactivate the peace talks, which began during the government of Juan Manuel Santos in 2016.

"Obviously some time has passed, we cannot say that it is as if nothing had happened. The ELN itself has undergone transformations and the dynamics of Colombian society as well," Petro said, referring to the challenges of the new negotiation.


Petro's call is not only to the ELN, but to "all the armed groups in force today in Colombia," he said on WRadio.

During his campaign, Petro said that from the first day of his government, "the protocols that the Government (of Juan Manuel) Santos signed with the States that guarantee Peace will be recognized" and that they will initiate "the comprehensive peace process with all actors of violence".

The Historical Pact program proposes the creation of "the conditions to advance in an effective dialogue and negotiation with the ELN" that "collects the lessons learned from the Final Peace Agreement with the FARC."

One day after the presidential elections in which Gustavo Petro won, the ELN communicated to the elected president its "full disposition to advance in a peace process."

  • The ELN claims responsibility for a terrorist attack that left 13 police officers injured in Cali

The peace talks with the ELN

In March 2016, the government of President Santos and the ELN announced that they had reached an agreement to begin peace talks.

The talks were to take place in Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil and Cuba.

In addition to those countries, Norway would be the guarantor of the process.

The agenda agreed upon by Santos and the ELN consisted of six points to discuss: participation, democracy, transformation, victims, conflict and implementation.

In the conversations, as previously stated, up to 30 representatives would participate and in each session there will be at least 10 of them.

Venezuela was a key country in this negotiation and the then Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez and the then Governor of the Guárico state, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, received the ELN delegates Antonio García, María Elena Velasquez and Pablo Beltrán.

  • This is the ELN, the guerrilla with which the FARC dissidence wants to ally

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The head of the assigned government delegation was Frank Pearl and Antonio García was appointed by the ELN.

Since the beginning of Iván Duque's government in August 2018, the president has refused to negotiate with this guerrilla until the kidnappings and violence in the country ceased.

Almost three years later, in September 2018, the government of Iván Duque suspended talks with the ELN, making a "strong gesture" of peace such as the release of all the hostages held by that guerrilla as a condition.

The ELN said at that time that when the Duque government handed over the handling of humanitarian releases to the Army and refused to carry out the agreement for the Protocols, it made "more difficult the releases of uniformed soldiers deprived of their liberty in Arauca and It collided with our fronts."

The ELN, through its negotiator Israel Ramírez "Pablo Beltrán", said in an interview granted to Conclusions of CNN in Spanish that they only have 9 kidnapped and that they also ask for action.

The talks were definitively suspended in January 2019 after the terrorist attack that occurred in Bogotá on January 17 of that year, in which 21 cadets from the General Santander School died.

At that time, Duque suspended the talks indefinitely and asked Cuba to extradite the ELN leaders.

Duque ignored the protocols for the return of ELN leaders from Cuba to Colombia, agreed upon by the previous government, and reactivated the arrest warrants against them.

ELN peace talks

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-07-05

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