Government of Colombia and the ELN reinstate peace talks table

Government of Colombia and the ELN reinstate peace talks table in Venezuela | News

The delegations of the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) held this Monday the act for the reinstatement of the peace talks table from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, highlighting the importance of this moment for the population of their country.


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During the act, General Carlos Martínez read a statement from the Government of President Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan people, in which they greet the peace talks “with renewed hopes” between the parties.

“Venezuela, as the host country of the first cycle of negotiations, will spare no effort to accompany this transcendental moment of the reconciliation process in our beloved Colombia, with a clear awareness that it is the path for Latin America and the Caribbean to consolidate as a zone of peace and prosperity”, says the text.

The head of the ELN delegation, Pablo Beltrán, highlighted the diversity of the representation of the Colombian Government in the dialogue; He thanked the host country and the guarantors, as well as the accompaniment by the Catholic Church and the Mission of the United Nations Organization (UN).

“We hope that the moment of change that Colombia is experiencing, which has been expressed in multiple ways in the streets, at the polls, and which demands that there be fundamental changes; we understand that cry and we take responsibility for it (…) This table should be, and we aim to make it, an instrument of change in that wave of changes that Colombian society is asking for, and we hope not to fail that expectation of change,” he said.

Beltrán stated that “Colombians cannot see ourselves as enemies. The work we have to do is reconciliation, to rediscover common ground, to build a nation in peace and equity.”

For his part, the High Commissioner for Peace, Iván Danilo Rueda, asserted that they are honoring the lives of those who have been affected by violence. “We are honoring those lives to try to resolve a series of conflicts,” he commented.

In addition, he indicated that an exercise of respect for differences has begun, “of recognition of the histories from which we come and in which we have participated, because we believe that respect for differences unites us in a common purpose, respect for life, freedom and necessary changes to overcome a set of rights and inequalities that in Colombia have been denied to many sectors of society”.

“The first meeting that we have held this morning with the ELN peace delegation is giving us certainty and the deep conviction that we are going to achieve the purpose that they add to us, to be sons and daughters of a homeland with changes and transformations. Subjective changes that lead us to overcome dynamics of death, death in the word, in the exclusion of the other, to build a nation in which we all fit,” he said.

Rueda noted that “at the center of this dialogue towards peace is life, of human beings, of dignity, and dignity means freedom (…) This political dialogue has important issues for the country, concrete transformations in the territory; concrete challenges in the face of social and environmental issues, and we have a horizon of dialogue to settle, to agree and to gradually generate these transformations”, adding that they perceive the readiness for this process.

In turn, the head of the Colombian government’s negotiating delegation, Otty Patiño Hormaza, assured that they are focused on conversations with “an organization that also wants real change,” and that it has demonstrated a “responsible, serious, friendly, and with a full disposition also to reach a real peace this time”.

Joint declaration

In the joint declaration, the delegations expressed their willingness and hope to “resume with full political and ethical will, as demanded by the people of rural and urban territories that suffer from violence and exclusion (…) the process of political dialogue”.

“Build peace based on a democracy with justice, and with tangible, urgent and necessary changes that this Roundtable agrees on, giving the greatest possible and effective participation of society, prioritizing sectors that have been historically marginalized and abandoned, for a present and future of dignity with full rights and authentic democracy, so that Colombia is a power of human life and care of the common goods,” he says.

Another point includes “thanking the persistence, commitment and presence in this scenario of meeting of reason and dreams, of the Guarantor countries: the Republic of Cuba, the Kingdom of Norway and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, today the host country and host; as well as the Verification Mission in Colombia of the United Nations Organization, and the Catholic Church through the Episcopal Conference of Colombia”.

Likewise, to share that the construction of peace as a State policy “transcends temporality with permanent and verifiable commitments that sow the certainty of a new culture of peace.”

“In this dialogue and negotiation we are aware of the need to respond to the various dimensions of collective life, which imply our duties to care for the planet, our
Common House”, highlights the statement.