The guerrilla of National Liberation Army (ELN) pronounced this Monday on the victory of the leftist Gustavo Petro in Sunday’s election Colombia assuring that they maintain their “political and military struggle and resistance”, but also that they are willing to seek peace.
“The THE N maintains its system of struggle and political and military resistance active, but also its full willingness to advance in a Peace Process that gives continuity to the Table of Conversations that began in Quito in February 2017″, the guerrillas assured in a statement from their Command. Center (COCE).
LOOK: Who is Gustavo Petro, the former guerrilla who brought the left to power for the first time in Colombia | PROFILE
Petrowho won the ballot with almost 11.3 million votes (50.44%) compared to almost 10.6 million (47.31%) for his rival, the populist Rodolfo Hernández, has been open to negotiating with the ELN during his Government and to resume the dialogues that were transferred from Quito to Havana, where they were interrupted in 2018.
In an interview with Efe in May, the president-elect assured that he wanted to resume the peace plan of former president Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018), from fully implementing the peace agreement signed with the FARC to resuming negotiations with the THE N.
An agreement with THE Nhe underlined then, “that it was half way through but that it would be necessary to accelerate and that it could, depending on the ELN, recreate the climate of peace and democratic progress.”
In the guerrilla communiqué dated today, the ELN also gives a warning to the elected president that if he does not implement “changes that lead us to overcome patronage and remove violence from politics, advance in social inclusion plans that include employment and undertakings for the majority”, among others, will not have the backing of the “popular movement”.
“If it is installed to do ‘more of the same’ it will have the people in the streets demanding changes more vehemently than in 2019 and 2021″assured the guerrilla.
The THE Nwhich has grown in strength during the last Colombian government, made a list of causes that have them fighting, such as the government’s “national security doctrine” or “the old violent client regime, mutated today into a corrupt and gangster”.
The Santos government and the ELN began peace negotiations in Quito in February 2017, which in May 2018 were transferred to Havana, where the last round of talks concluded without progress in early August of that year.
The talks have been on hold since then due to the demand of the government of the current president, Iván Duque, for the ELN to release all the hostages it has in its power and renounce that and all its criminal activities.
After the attack against the cadet school in Bogotá in 2019 that left 22 dead, the Government asked Cuba to hand over the negotiators who are in Havana, but the island invoked diplomatic protocols not to comply with that request.
Petrowhen he was a candidate, assured that if the protocol with Cuba was signed, it should be respected and the failed peace negotiations resumed.