August 7, 2022

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Petro says Spain is also ready to help in negotiations with ELN

Petro says Spain is also ready to help in negotiations with ELN

Bogota, 29 July. Colombia’s president-elect, Gustavo Petro, on Friday indicated the negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) fighters that his government wants to reactivate, noting that Cuba is the country in which they should continue, adding that Spain has also shown a willingness to help.

This is what Petro told the media, after meeting with the ambassadors of Latin American countries, including Cuban, Javier Camanyo, and after it became known yesterday that Chile offered to host the talks.

The Colombian government’s negotiations with the ELN began in 2016 during the government of Juan Manuel Santos in Quito and in 2018 they were transferred to Havana where the main leaders of the guerrilla war remain, despite the fact that during Ivan Duque’s current government they were permanently paralyzed.

Petro wants to resume the protocol already drawn up in the negotiations that “allows the ELN talks to continue there (in Havana)”, but it must be the Cuban government that accepts sponsorship of the talks again, as well as Norway’s role in that. Said guarantor or add a new guarantor.

In this sense, the president-elect emphasized that “Spain has expressed provisions regarding assistance in the Colombian peace process”, in line with the offer made by Chile and also “without a doubt all Latin America because in the end achieving success in significantly reducing violence in Colombia is also an American success.” “.

According to Petro, peace negotiations with these gangs, as well as with other armed groups, is a Latin American issue, because “violence is no longer exclusively national, but has become multinational violence to the point that drug trafficking has become multinational.”

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One of the first steps they want to pursue, according to the incoming government, is a bilateral ceasefire, which Petro also wants to extend “to include other types of armed organizations that are spreading in the country”, because it is “a good start because it will reduce the number of deaths caused by violence by one.” .

With the change of government in 2018, talks were suspended due to President Duque requiring ELN to release all hostages in his power and to relinquish all crimes related to drug trafficking, illegal mining, and attacks on electrical and oil infrastructure, among others.

Later, after an attack by guerrillas on the Police Student School in Bogotá in January 2019, which left 22 dead and more than 60 injured, the government has permanently paralyzed any possibility of dialogue with the ELN.

Since Gustavo Petro’s election victory on June 19, the ELN has reiterated in two statements its desire to resume peace negotiations.

At the beginning of the month, the President of the National Liberation Army, Elisir Herlinto Chamorro, nicknamed “Antonio Garcia,” confirmed in a statement that the guerrilla group “is ready to resume peace talks with the new government so that its results will bring peace with society and justice.” For all of Colombia.