Peace talks in Colombia

Peace talks in Colombia
Fecha de publicación: 
4 December 2022
Imagen principal: 

The resumption of talks between the Colombian government and the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) could be evaluated as one of the greatest gains of President Gustavo Petro in his first four months in office.
After many years of thwarted attempts to reach an agreement that would lead to the much-awaited peace, both sides this week in Venezuela resumed talks, whose most recent attempt in 2019 failed after the attack against a police school in Bogota.

Of the most recent meeting at the emblematic WarairaRepano National Park, in Caracas, the most important thing about it until now was the fact that the delegation complied with the agreement reached at the exploration meeting in Octoberand opened the possibility of a reencounter for talks.

The joint communiqué issued at the end of the first gathering, with the participation of guarantor countries, such as Cuba, Norway, and the Bolivarian Republic, plus the Colombian Catholic Church and the UN Verification Mission, had important coincidences that bring back hope.

It’s no secret that decades of clashes opened deep wounds, whose causes are currently present in Colombian society, and nothing will be easy to resolve, but as Colombian senator, Iván Cepeda, said “we are sure and see that there is the willingness” between the sides.

Talks began with the two parties’ wishes to make progress in the process that leads to peace, democracy, and justice, besides them being willing, optimistic, certain, and hopeful to resume talks with full political determination and ethics.

An issue that they’ve agreed upon is the willingness to build peace on the basis of democracy with justice and concrete, urgent and necessary changes, as well as give society the greatest possible and effective participation, prioritizing historically marginalized and neglected sectors.

ELN delegation head, Pablo Beltrán, highlighted that they expected this wave of changes that Colombia is asking not to fail, the reason for which the dialogue should be an instrument for that as society demands.

Colombians “cannot see each other as enemies,” we have to work on reconciliation, look for common grounds, and build a new nation in peace and equity, that is the best we are bringing and we are coming to these talks with that objective, he assured.

For his part, Cepeda admitted that this is a historical moment, “almost unique for the country” and highlighted that at the center of conversations are the lives of human beings, the dignity that freedom brings, the fear of not being assassinated or missing, and respect for the opposition.

High Commissioner for Peace in Colombia Danilo Rueda summed up the meeting by saying that the sides want a real change and see peace not only as problem of laying down arms, but one linked to the need for change.

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