Colombian government wants ‘total peace’

In mid-September, a Colombian government delegation met with leaders of splinter groups from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to explore possible peace talks with members of groups that rejected the 2016 peace accord. in Havana. President Petro posted two photos on his Twitter account with the caption “a dialogue begins”, showing the Colombian government’s high commissioner for peace Iván Danilo Rueda with leaders of dissident groups.

The meeting, held in the department of Caquetá, was also attended by international observers from Norway and the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, reported the Notimerica news site of the spanish press agency European press.

On September 15, Rueda said he had received proposals for dialogue from various groups, including the FARC splinter group led by Iván Márquez, known as Second Marquetalia, which reportedly operates on the Venezuelan border and in Venezuelan territory, AFP reported. “We can say that he [Iván Márquez] is one of those who sent the messages,” Rueda said.

A Colombian government delegation met with leaders of FARC dissidents to discuss a possible start of peace talks, in the department of Caquetá on September 18, 2022. (Photo: Colombian President Gustavo Petro/Twitter)

In addition to seeking full implementation of the peace accord with FARC dissidents, Petro pledged to resume talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and negotiate the surrender of criminal gangs in return. sentence reductions.

On August 20, Petro announced that he had signed a decree lifting the measures against the ELN negotiating leaders, as a preamble to the resumption of peace negotiations with this group of insurgents.

“I authorized to reinstate the protocols, to reauthorize the negotiators, to allow them to reconnect with their organization, to suspend the arrest warrants against these negotiators, to suspend the extradition orders to the against these negotiators so that a dialogue can be engaged with the National Liberation Army, to try to build the road, I hope for it quickly and expeditiously, where this organization will cease to be an insurrectionary guerrilla in Colombia” , said President Petro.

The attorney general’s office said arrest and extradition warrants for 11 ELN leaders, whom the government recognizes as the armed group’s negotiators, have been suspended for three months. Among them is one of its main leaders, Israel Ramírez Pineda, alias Pablo Beltrán.

In 2017, under the mandate of Juan Manuel Santos, peace talks with this guerrilla group began in the city of Quito, Ecuador. In 2018 they moved to Havana, Cuba, but the dialogues were broken under the government of Iván Duque, at the beginning of 2019, after the car bomb attack that the ELN carried out against the General Police Academy Santander south of Bogotá.

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