Iván Duque denies peace efforts with ELN

Bucaramanga, ColombiaColombian President Iván Duque today denied that his government is moving forward to resume dialogue with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last active guerrilla in the country founded in the early 1960s and inspired by the Cuban revolution.

“The message we have given to the ELN has been consistent: achieving peace requires a commitment that is not verbal or discursive and that means that all those abducted must be released and that criminal acts cease,” the president said in an act honoring the memory. the five years since the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian state and the disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Minutes earlier, former President Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018) said in the same ceremony that he had knowledge of alleged investigations to reactivate peace talks with the guerrillas. “It fills us with hope, in that effort they will find all our support, I am sure, and that from the UN and the international community,” he explained.

The Duque government rose from the negotiating table with the ELN in January 2019 after the guerrillas activated a car loaded with explosives in a police academy, killing 22 people and injuring another 70. The ELN took responsibility for the attack and justified it by saying that it was an institution where officers participating “actively in the insurgency war” were trained.

Since then, the president has demanded that the ELN release the hostages, stop the attacks and criminal activities as a condition for resuming dialogue.

The President recalled that at the beginning of their government, they were subject to an evaluation of the ELN’s behavior during the 17 months that they held exploratory dialogue tables with the previous government. “Despite the generosity of the Colombian state to sit for 17 months, they committed 400 terrorist acts, murdered more than 100 people and kidnapped more than 10 Colombians,” he explained.


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