Colombia-ELN peace talks in Caracas set for November
The Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group announced yesterday that they would convene peace talks after the first week of November. The negotiations serve as part of Petro’s “Total Peace” plan, with Colombia’s high commissioner for peace, Danilo Rueda, having left for Havana to dialogue with ELN representatives shortly after Petro’s inauguration. The negotiations will be based in Caracas, and the Maduro government will serve as a guarantor, alongside Norway and Cuba. (Al Jazeera, Reuters)
Previous attempts at peace talks with the ELN have failed despite successful demobilizations and negotiations between the Colombian government and other armed groups, such as the AUC and FARC. The most recent negotiations, begun under the Santos administration, “began in Ecuador, later moving to Cuba, but were called off by Santos' successor Ivan Duque because the ELN refused to halt hostilities and killed 22 police cadets in a Bogota bomb attack,” notes Reuters. As InSight Crime explains in a new investigation, negotiations are complicated by the ties between the ELN and the Maduro government: “while the Venezuelan government has so far expressed support for a renewed peace process, it is far from clear what role it will play, as the connections between the guerrillas and the Venezuelan state have also helped the autocratic regime of President Nicolás Maduro consolidate power.”
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