Mexico City (EFE).- The second phase of the Peace Talks Table between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) concluded this Friday in Mexico City with the recognition by the Government of President Gustavo Petro of the political status of the ELN as a “rebel armed organization” and the record of “advances” with a view to reaching an agreement for a bilateral ceasefire.
“Recognize that the national government, within the scope of its constitutional and legal powers, given the political recognition of the National Liberation Army (ELN), as a rebel armed organization, is carrying out negotiations and dialogues of a political nature aimed at obtaining solutions to the armed conflict. ”, pointed out the resolution of the Government of Petro released at the end of the table in Mexico.
At the end of this cycle of talks, which began in February, the Vice President of Colombia, Francia Márquez, attended.
The chief negotiators of both parties showed cautious optimism about the results achieved, but still without finalizing the long-awaited bilateral ceasefire agreement.
“We were able to begin to address the most urgent, heartfelt and sensitive issues such as the ceasefire and we also opened the doors of citizen and community participation wide,” said Otty Patiño, head of the Colombian government’s negotiating delegation.
“Today we have made progress in building an itinerary with a common vision of peace,” Patiño stressed.
The ELN highlights the steps towards a bilateral ceasefire
For his part, alias “Pablo Beltrán”, the ELN’s chief negotiator, remarked that “the first steps were taken to achieve a bilateral, national and temporary ceasefire.”
“We must all change to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace, we must all participate in its design and implementation,” Beltrán said at the closing ceremony, which was held at the San Ildefonso College, in the center of the Mexican capital.
The next phase of peace talks between the Colombian government and the ELN will be held in Cuba, although no date has been specified for its start.
The negotiations between the Government and the guerrilla organization, which were interrupted for four years after beginning in 2017, resumed in Caracas in 2022 under the auspices of Cuba, Norway and Venezuela as guarantor countries.
Mexico, together with Venezuela, Chile, Norway and Brazil are guarantors of the peace talks, while Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Spain act as accompanying countries.