In a document issued Monday, the National Liberation Army (ELN for its acronym in Spanish) declared its stance in the face of the attacks against the National Police’s school of cadets in the capital city of Bogota, which left 20 dead and leading to the end of the peace process round table being held in La Habana, Cuba.
Colombia: War Victims Plea For Continuation of Peace Dialogue
The insurgent group stated that the school of cadets is used to impart training to personnel who will then take part in combat intelligence service, carry out military operations, and actively participate in counter-insurgency. It's also known for treating social protest as war-making.
The attacks on the National Police’s compound would represent a response to military activities carried out by the Government of President Ivan Duque during the ceasefire implemented by the armed group during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, according to the ELN.
The communique also states that the Colombian army bombed an insurgency camp on Dec. 25, affecting a family of farmers in the nearby area. “It is then highly disproportionate that, while the Government attacks us, it suggests that we are unable to attack in our legitimate defense,” and ELN spokesperson said.
They added that the insurgency is not going to move away from promoting peace, “because it is clear to us that we are at war as the class in power has reiterated that talks need to be carried out in the middle of the conflict.
“President Duque, we want to reiterate that the war is not the way of the future, peace is, for this reason, we remind you that the best thing for the country is that you send a delegation to the table in order to give the peace process continuity.”
The Colombian government announced the end of the peace process and dialogue with the National Liberation Army (ELN) after it accused the leftist group of perpetrating the attack on the Santander General Police School, which left 21 dead and 68 wounded in Bogota.
After this announcement, Colombian President Ivan Duque demanded that the Cuban government hand over the National Liberation Army (ELN) peace delegation.
The Colombian government also torpedoed legal measures in place which allowed the 10 ELN members to stay in Cuba, allowing the issue of red alerts by Interpol.