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Colombian government resumes peace talks with last remaining terrorist group

  • Religion

The Colombian government and the last remaining major guerrilla group in the country have resumed peace talks in neighbouring Venezuela.

By James Blears

It’s almost four years since talks between the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army –  the ELN – broke down, following a car bomb attack on a police cadet barracks in the Capital Bogotá.

Now, the negotiations to finally end fifty-eight years of festering conflict are finally back on track.

The ELN was founded in 1964, the same year as the National Liberation Army of Colombia, known as the FARC.

The FARC signed a peace treaty in 2016. But the ELN, which still has an estimated four-thousand-armed guerrillas in the field, is holding out.

In a joint statement, both sides say they want to build peace based on democracy and justice. 

Diplomats from Venezuela, Cuba and Norway are helping facilitate that process.

This is happening under the new administration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who himself was once a member of the M19 urban guerrilla group.

It’s not yet been agreed or announced if there will be a partial or full amnesty. 

Colombia is still plagued by hard-line remnants of the FARC and drug cartels, but securing permanent peace with the ELN would be a significant step forward for the nation.

Source: Vatican News