On Monday, delegations from the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) arrived in Caracas to set up a dialogue table.
In this way, the parties will restart the peace negotiations process suspended in 2018 by the then Colombian president Ivan Duque.
Former M-19 guerrilla Otty Patiño will lead the government’s negotiating team, which includes the president of the Colombian Federation of Livestock Farmers (FEDEGAN) Jose Felix Lafourie. On the other hand, Israel Ramirez will lead the ELN delegation, whose members are still unknown.
On Friday, the Colombian Attorney General’s Office announced the suspension of the arrest warrants issued against the negotiators appointed by the ELN for the peace talks.
This is the sixth attempt at negotiations with the ELN in the last 30 years. In 1991, the Colombian government and this guerrilla attempted a first negotiation in Tlaxcala (Mexico).
The dialogue process with the ELN was unblocked with the arrival to the Colombian presidency of Gustavo Petro in August. Since then, both parties have maintained contacts to resume their peace talks, which will have Venezuela, Cuba and Norway as guarantor countries.
“On this occasion, there is a new national and international political context, a government betting on change and a national majority demanding total peace. All of this turns expectation into hope,» said Camilo Gonzalez, the director of the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (INDEPAZ).