Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced today the signing of a resolution that allows the restitution of peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN). The resolution also lifts the arrest and extradition orders against the members of the ELN Central Command. Talks with the ELN began under ex-president Juan Manuel Santos, but were abandoned by President Iván Duque.
“I want to announce that by decree, signed yesterday, I have authorized the reinstatement of the protocols that allow negotiators to reconnect with their organization, suspending the arrest warrants for those negotiators, suspending extradition orders for those negotiators so that a dialogue with the ELN can begin”, said President Gustavo Petro.
The last attempt at negotiation was in 2017, during the government of Juan Manuel Santos. The talks were held in Quito, Ecuador, with the objective of reaching an agreement similar to the one already achieved with the FARC. However, during the ELN talks, hard-right president Iván Duque became president, his mentor Álvaro Uribe was opposed to the peace process and so talks officially broke down in 2019.
Return to Cuba
The peace talks and accords between the Santos government and the FARC were hosted by the Cuban government in Havana. Colombia’s Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva has stated Colombia’s intention for Cuba to once again be the venue for these eventual peace negotiations with the ELN.
“We emphasize that Cuba was the cradle of the Peace Agreement between the State and the FARC-EP, a process that was considered an example throughout the world (..) We aspire to resume peace talks with the ELN in this land, we aspire to resume peace talks with the ELN in Cuba,” Colombia’s foreign minister said last week during his visit to Havana.
Leyva also stated that Colombia officially opposes the United States designation of Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.
By Kawsachun News