Colombia’s Minister of Interior, Guillermo Rivera, ratified that the conversations are suspended until the National Liberation Army (ELN) “leaves behind those insane terrorist actions”.
On Wednesday, the ELN called the Colombian government to resume the peace talks in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, where they aspire to “agree to a better and new bilateral ceasefire”.
In the communiqué read by Israel Ramírez Pineda, the commander of the ELN known as “Pablo Beltrán”, they criticized that “the regime intensified the persecution and murder of social leaders and political opposition”.
“The mass murder carried out by the regime against social leaders, is not recognized and is even mocked, like when the defense minister said on last December 16 that such murders are product of ‘fights over women’”, read the communiqué.
“We are going to try a prompt reboot of the Quito negotiations”, assured Beltrán in an exclusive interview with teleSUR. The organization prefers to continue the dialogue under a ceasefire because they consider it flows in a better way.
Beltrán repeated that it was necessary to agree on the reduction of the conflict’s intensity for the bilateral ceasefire and denounced that there are far right politicians that are trying to “instill hatred”.
The representative of the ELN pointed out that officials of the Colombian government threatened the insurgent groups before the end of the cease fire. “The ceasefire hadn’t finished and the minister of Defense had already started with his threats”, he expressed.
On what happened in Barranquilla -the attack on the police stations-, Beltrán explained that it was the response of the ELN to the warnings of the Government, an event that was exploited by media in his opinion.
At the same time, he mentioned that the bombings on behalf of the Colombian State in zones inhabited by native communities have been invisibilized, like it happened in the Chocó Department (Northeast). “It wasn’t publicly noticed that several Colombians lost their lives”.
Finally, the member of the insurgent group stated that the non-fulfilment of the peace agreement with the FARC is an example to them. “It would seem that the interest of the ruling elite in Colombia is to disappear the FARC as a political project”.
The Colombian executive decided to suspend the initiation of the V Dialogue Cycle with the insurgent force after the attacks on past weekend against three police stations, that left a death toll of 7 and over 40 wounded people.
The responsibility of the attacks have been granted to the group, so the government claims that “the issue is in ELN’s court” and once “they leave behind these insane and terrorist actions, the situation may be reconsidered”, stated the Minister of Interior, Guillermo Rivera.