On Wednesday, about 100 Colombian government representatives and National Liberation Army (ELN) members began a journey from the Cali department to the Choco department to inspect the human rights situation in these territories and draft a report in this regard.
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The initiative, which will run until January 21, is part of the agreements reached by President Gustavo Petro’s administration and the ELN rebel group in negotiations that seek to achieve a lasting ceasefire in the country.
The delegation will be divided into two groups to relate different routes. The first group will visit the San Miguel, Noanama, Negria, and Panamacito towns. The second group will go to the Buenaventura Pangala, Copoma, Docordo, and San Isidro towns.
"We fundamentally seek that people displaced by violence in the communities nearby the rivers San Juan and Calima can return to their homes. Many of these Colombians have been out of their territory for more than a year. Therefore, planning their return is a challenge,” said social leader Carlos Rosero, a member of the delegation.
On Wednesday, government representatives and ELN members began an extraordinary round of negotiations in Caracas to agree that the rebel group accepts the bilateral ceasefire announced by President Gustavo Petro on Dec. 31, 2022.
The ELN does not recognize that announcement, which it claimed was not part of the agreements reached in the first negotiation rounds held in Caracas in December 2022.
Senator Ivan Cepeda, who is part of the government delegation, expressed the importance of clarifying the situation to guarantee that a new round of negotiations begins in Mexico in mid-February.
This type of initiative is a novelty in peace negotiations, where historically the agreements are not implemented until the final signing.