ELN: Willing to negotiate with President Gustavo Petros

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“Yesterday (Sunday), Gustavo Petro was elected president, whose government is called to” promote change for peace in Colombia, “according to the ELN, whose leader is Antonio Garcia.

The leadership of the National Liberation Army (ELN), officially the last rebel organization to continue its armed struggle in Colombia, assured on Monday that it was “fully prepared” to resume peace talks with President-elect Gustavo Petro days of the outgoing government.

The ELN (Guevara) “actively continues the struggle and the political and military resistance, but is fully prepared to proceed with a peace process that will be a continuation of the ‘negotiating table’ that began in Quito in February 2017,” the politico-military leadership said. of the faction in a press release issued to the public.

Following the historic peace deal with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, talks with the ELN began the following year, chaired by Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018), initially in the Ecuadorian capital, before transferred to Havana, the capital of Cuba.

But they were ousted by Mr Santos’s successor, right-wing President Ivan Duque, following an attack on a police school in Bogota that killed 22 people in January 2019.

“Yesterday (Sunday), Gustavo Petro was elected president, whose government is called to” promote change for peace in Colombia, “according to the ELN, whose leader is Antonio Garcia.

On August 7, Gustavo Petro, 62, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla city that signed a peace agreement in 1990, will become the first active left-wing president in Colombian history. It has promised to put the Andean country on a path of “true change” by implementing a program of deep reforms, which among other things provides for the resumption of negotiations with the ELN.

Despite continuing to fight Colombian security forces, who have killed many of its officers, the ELN has not stopped increasing its strength: of the 1,800 fighters it was estimated to have at the start of the peace talks, it has about 2,500 today, according to official data.

The rebel group, which according to the military intelligence service is funded mainly by drug trafficking and blackmail, has a strong influence in the country’s coastal areas in the Pacific Ocean and along the border with Venezuela, and also has an extensive network. support in urban areas.

The ELN, founded in 1964 by radicalized Catholic priests inspired by the Cuban revolution, held for thirty years peace talks – but in all cases without fail – with the governments of Cesar Gaviria (1990-1994). (1994-1998), by Andres Pastrana (1998-2002) and Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010).

Source: skai.gr

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