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Colombia: Petro will ask Maduro to be a guarantor of the peace negotiations with the ELN

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the president of ColombiaGustavo Petro, will ask his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, to be the guarantor of the peace negotiations that his government plans to restart in the coming weeks with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), local media revealed on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper Timethe Colombian president will soon ask Maduro to be the guarantor of the talks, although it is not yet known whether he will do so by phone or in a letter.

Precisely, the chief negotiator of the ELN, Israel Ramírez Pineda, alias “Pablo Beltrán”, showed optimism about the peace negotiations with the Petro government in an interview last weekend with EFE in Havana, where the ELN team remains. guerrilla since 2018, when the talks started a year earlier were interrupted.

Beltrán, one of the top leaders of the largest active Colombian guerrilla, acknowledged Petro’s initial gestures and points out that there are only “weeks” left for negotiations to resume after a four-year break.

However, he assures that the ELN needs “facts” and not just “words” after what happened with the peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which he describes as “more of a failure than a success.”

Venezuela was the guarantor of the peace negotiations with the FARC, which took place in Havana between 2012 and 2016, and according to previous Colombian governments, the ELN and other illegal armed groups take refuge in that country.

Chief Colombian guerrilla negotiator, between optimistic and skeptical about negotiations with the Petro government

Petro’s “total peace”

Since his arrival at the Presidency, Petro proposed promoting “total peace”, an ambitious bet with which he seeks to sit down to negotiate with the groups outside the law that still operate in the country and achieve an agreement like the one reached in its moment with the FARC, which includes some type of legal agreement or submission to the Justice.

For the moment, progress has been made on the decision to resume negotiations with the ELN, although Petro assures that he has received letters from criminal gangs who want to join that process.

With the ELN, the government is going to seek to negotiate a peace agreement, while it will offer the gangs submission to justice.

Along these lines, on August 30, the Minister of the Interior, Alfonso Prada, filed in Congress the bill that defines the State peace policy and with which the Government intends to establish the bases of “peace total”.

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