Colombian government and ELN begin second negotiation cycle in Mexico Colombian government and ELN begin second negotiation cycle in Mexico  (ANSA)

Colombia resumes peace talks with ELN

Peace talks are resuming between the Colombian Government and the ELN – the last major guerrilla group, which is still fighting.

By James Blears

The aim of the renewed peace talks in Colombia is a lasting peace, and through its achievement, tranquility for Colombia, which hasn’t known it for fifty-nine years.

Mexico City is hosting round two of the peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), which has been in conflict with it since 1964, the same year the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) took up arms. The FARC signed a peace agreement in 2016, and has since evolved into a political party, but not without difficulties and problems on both sides along the way.

Listen to James Blears' report

Peace talks with the ELN were frozen following an ELN attack on a police academy in 2019 in Bogota, which killed twenty -three people, mostly young cadets.

Round one of the resumed talks in Caracas, Venezuela, was conducted at a snail’s pace, with only modest results, due to grindingly slow progress. Now, one immediate aim is a ceasefire, which could evolve into something permanent.

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro, who is the architect of this olive branch initiative, says that the nation yearns for total and final peace after perpetual conflict, which has been dragging on for so long. He also stresses his Government will not negotiate with the drug cartels, who are another and additional source of gnawing pain. He insists that they must desist from their path and face justice.

Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Chile, and Norway are acting as fair brokers for these crucial and vital talks, which will determine the future of Colombia and its people.

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14 February 2023, 14:29