Colombia and National Liberation Army will restart peace negotiations


The Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) insurgent group on Tuesday announced the restart of peace negotiations, after a three-year hiatus.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference of top ELN leadership and a team of negotiators representing the Colombian government in Caracas, Venezuela.

Venezuela is one of the guarantor countries in the negotiation process, which was launched over six years ago but halted in 2019 by former Colombian president Ivan Duque.

His successor, Gustavo Petro, has made restarting peace negotiations a priority in his government since taking office in August.

Last month, Colombia and Venezuela reestablished diplomatic relations after more than two years, aiming in part to resume talks with guerrilla forces that control large parts of territory across the Colombian and Venezuelan border.

The ELN is one of the largest guerrilla forces still active in the region. Born as a Marxist insurgent force in the 1960s, the group finances its activities through kidnapping, extortion and involvement in the narcotics trade.

In recent years, the ELN has expanded operations in southern Venezuela, where it controls illegal mining operations.

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