1706571148 The ELN guerrillas and the Colombian government extend the ceasefire

The ELN guerrillas and the Colombian government extend the ceasefire until February 5th

The ELN guerrillas and the Colombian government extend the ceasefire

The delegations of the government of Gustavo Petro and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have agreed to extend the ceasefire with the last armed guerrillas in Colombia, which expired this Monday, and the protocols in force until next Monday, February 5 it until now. The parties will continue the assessment of this ceasefire in the sixth cycle of peace negotiations in Havana, and when this assessment is completed, “the extension will be signed,” a brief statement from the negotiating table said, without further details.

The expected extension of the ceasefire was delayed longer than planned due to contradictory versions. “There is already an agreement, now the government must issue the decree and order a ceasefire,” said High Commissioner for Peace Otty Patiño, who was just the ELN's chief negotiator, for another six months. His words were interpreted as a preview of the delegations' formal announcement. The end of guerrilla kidnappings and the delicate debate over their future funding are the issues holding up an agreement for now.

For the time being, the parties are therefore sticking to the unprecedented six-month ceasefire, which came into force on August 3, 2023 and was also agreed in Cuba at the end of the third round of negotiations. Monitoring and review mechanisms include the participation of the United Nations and the Catholic Church. The delegations have now agreed to create the conditions for an extension of this ceasefire, which does not include hostilities with third parties.

The table with the Elenos is the most advanced in the framework of the Petro government's overall peace policy, which aims at simultaneous dialogue with several armed groups, which are often also in conflict with each other. The other formal table is with the dissidents of the extinct FARC guerrillas, grouped in the so-called Central General Staff, with which a ceasefire also applies until July 15.

The ELN committed in December to suspend “withholdings for economic purposes,” as it refers to the extortionate kidnapping of civilians, “as part of the ceasefire extension planned for the end of January.” [de 2024]“. In this way, it was possible to avert the crisis caused by the kidnapping of the father of the footballer Luis Díaz at the end of October in the middle of the ceasefire. This action shocked the country and put the spotlight on a crime that was extremely rejected by Colombian society and that the ELN portrayed as part of its economic activities. The guerrillas freed him after 12 days of captivity. The government delegation strongly demanded the release of the remaining abducted people.


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The delegations held cyclical negotiations in Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba, while Petro himself nominated Vatican City as the venue for the next round of peace talks this month after meeting with Pope Francis in the Holy See.

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