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News > Colombia

Colombia: Duque Calls on Cuba to Hand Over ELN Peace Delegation

  • Colombia's President Ivan Duque addresses the media during a news conference, in Bogota, Colombia Jan. 17, 2019.

    Colombia's President Ivan Duque addresses the media during a news conference, in Bogota, Colombia Jan. 17, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 January 2019

Ivan Duque cancelled the peace negotiations with the insurgent group, blaming them for a car bomb attack in Bogota.

Colombian President Ivan Duque is demanding the Cuban government hand over the National Liberation Army (ELN) peace delegation.

Duque also ordered the lifting of the suspension of capture orders for the 10 members of the Cuban dialogue delegation.


Colombian Gov't Ends Peace Process with ELN

The Colombian government also revoked the resolution that created conditions for the 10 ELN members to stay in Cuba, which means ceasing benefits they had in order to be part of the peace negotiations, allowing the issue of red alerts by Interpol.

The Colombian government asked Cuba to imprison the 10 ELN negotiators and to hand them over Colombian Authorities, which puts an end to the peace negotiations roundtable between the ELN and the Colombian government.

According to journalist Victor de Currea-Lugo, these actions are an "insult to the Cuban Diplomacy" and also a "treason to what the Colombian state agreed in an eventual case of the breaking of roundtables."

The news of ending the peace process with the ELN prompted many to take to social media and demand that President Ivan Duque not give up on the agreements for the cessation of violence with the National Liberation Army, or ELN, and to insist on maintaining the dialogue table the leftist guerrilla group.

Social leaders and "war victims" who have suffered under the decades-long internal conflict in Colombia also called on the Colombian president to not end the peace process with the ELN and avoid the military solution. 

"I get upset when I hear the dialogue will be broken. We feel very much the death of these people, but we do not want a labyrinth where our children will have to suffer again another war like the one we suffered... I do want no more war, please," Ana, a Casanare's victim of violence, pleaded with tears in her eyes, as reported by El Espectador.

The county’s prolonged armed conflict has been ongoing since the 1960s. Between October 2017 and January 2018, the Colombian government and the ELN agreed on a bilateral ceasefire that lasted 101 days.

Since then, the militant organization ordered unilateral truces, in what they claimed was in an effort to prevent any impediment of the voting process during last year's elections.

Funded and sponsored by Catholic priests and rebels, ELN is currently the largest active guerrilla group in Colombia after the peace agreement and demoralization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

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