Colombians strive to reach internal peace settlement
By James Blears
The ELN and the Colombian Government are inviting a new mini league of nations to be helpers, facilitators and mediators during their peace talks, which have started again, after almost a three-year hiatus.
This time the location is beleaguered Venezuela. With the possible philosophy that there`s safety in numbers rather than polarization with just a few, those invited include: The United States, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. They`re even asking Washington to send a Special Envoy to sit at the talks table, to help mediate and see fair play done during the ongoing discussions.
Six years ago this week, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia the FARC, laid down their weapons, signed a peace agreement with the Government and have since evolved into a left-wing political party.
President Gustavo Petro, himself a former M19 urban guerrilla, was inaugurated in August and he`s vowing to fulfil his election pledges, which include bringing about and achieving a lasting peace in Colombia, which hasn`t known it in more than six decades.
The violence has killed and wounded tens of thousands. While millions more have been displaced, destabilizing vast swathes of the population. The opportunity for a counsel of nations, to help resolve all of this is a reality on the horizon.