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News > Colombia

The ELN Gets Ready to Begin a Ceasefire in Colombia

  • Members of the National Liberation Army, 2023.

    Members of the National Liberation Army, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @NotiAhoraVzla

Published 4 July 2023

Starting from this Thursday, this guerrilla organization will also cease intelligence operations, but it will maintain active defense and security measures to respond to threats.

The National Liberation Army (ELN) ordered all its structures to cease fire against the military forces starting on Thursday until August 3. This marks the official start of the national bilateral ceasefire, which was agreed upon by the Colombian government for a period of 180 days.


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This decision serves as a way to fulfill the "preparation" period agreed upon by the guerrilla and the government in the third round of negotiations in Havana. 

Starting from this Thursday, the ELN structures must also cease intelligence operations, but they will maintain active defense and security measures "to respond to threats or attacks from any institution or armed group against our units or the civilian population."

So far, Colombian President Gustavo Petro has not yet signed the ceasefire decree, which is a necessary step for the Army and Police to cease their offensive actions against the guerrilla.

"As long as there is no ceasefire in effect - which occurs at the moment the president issues a decree specifying the precise day and time - offensive operations, along with the entire activity of the security forces and their capacities, will continue to be deployed," Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez said.

This comes a day after it was reported that the ELN western front, operating in the Choco department, announced an "armed strike" starting on Tuesday throughout the San Juan, Sipi, Cajon, and its tributaries region.

"We call on all residents and transporters to refrain from traveling in the territory while this order is in effect," said Gerson, the ELN commander in the Choco, a region where the ELN has been engaging in combats with the right-wing paramilitary forces agglutinated in the Colombian Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces (AGC).

Since late last year, these clashes have exposed hundreds of people in this river-connected area to confinement or forced displacement from their homes. Just last week, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OHCP) reported that over a hundred families are displaced and around 800 are confined in the San Juan and Sipi rivers.

In June, the Ombudsman's Office also warned that over 5,000 people were confined in the municipality of Novita due to the confrontations between the ELN and Gulf Clan.

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