Colombian government and ELN rebels meet in Havana to restart peace talks

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Colombia’s caller authorities and members of the nation’s past guerrilla radical person taken steps towards restarting bid talks that were suspended 3 years agone successful Cuba.

Newly elected President Gustavo Petro, a erstwhile subordinate of the M-19 guerrilla group, has promised to found “total peace” successful Colombia and sent a high-level delegation to Cuba this week to conscionable with National Liberation Army (ELN) representatives there.

After a gathering betwixt representatives of some sides successful Havana, Colombia’s nationalist bid commissioner, Danilo Rueda, said connected Friday that the authorities would instrumentality the indispensable “judicial and governmental steps” to marque bid talks imaginable with the National Liberation Army, known arsenic the ELN.

He said that included lifting apprehension warrants for ELN negotiators who are presently surviving successful exile successful Cuba.

“We judge that the ELN has the aforesaid tendency for bid arsenic the Colombian government,” Rueda said successful his statement. “And anticipation that they are listening to the galore voices successful antithetic territories who are seeking a peaceful solution to this equipped conflict.”

Peace talks betwixt Colombia’s erstwhile authorities and the ELN were terminated successful 2019 aft the rebels acceptable disconnected a car weaponry astatine a constabulary academy successful Bogotá and killed much than 20 cadets.

Following that incident, Colombian authorities issued apprehension warrants for ELN leaders successful Cuba for the bid negotiations. But Cuba refused to extradite them, arguing that doing truthful would compromise its presumption arsenic a neutral federation successful the struggle and interruption with diplomatic protocols.

The United States responded by placing Cuba connected its database of authorities sponsors of terrorism.

Petro has said helium wants to commencement bid talks with the country’s remaining equipped groups successful an effort to trim unit successful agrarian areas and bring lasting bid to the federation of 50 cardinal people.

A 2016 bid woody betwixt the authorities and the country’s largest guerrilla army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, oregon Farc, helped to trim kidnappings, homicides and forced displacement.

But violence has picked up successful immoderate parts of the country arsenic Farc dissidents, cause trafficking groups and the ELN combat implicit cocaine smuggling routes, amerciable mines and different resources that were abandoned by the Farc.

In July, transgression groups staged astir 90 attacks connected the constabulary and military, sidesplitting 13 constabulary officers, according to Cerac, a thinktank that monitors unit successful Colombia. That made it 1 of the astir unsafe months for Colombia’s equipped forces successful the past 2 decades.

The ELN, which was founded successful 1964, has agelong been designated by the US authorities section arsenic a overseas violent organization. The radical has an estimated 2,500 fighters successful Colombia and besides runs cause trafficking routes, extortion rackets and illegal mines successful neighboring Venezuela.

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