The newly elected Colombian President Gustavo Petro has suspended arrest warrants and extradition requests for members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), in a bid to restart peace talks in Colombia after an insurgency well into its sixth decade.
Petro’s announcement fulfills a key campaign promise of bringing “total peace” to Colombia. Petro is himself a former member of the M-19 insurgency and said he was doing so now “to start a dialogue with the National Liberation Army.”
Following a security council meeting in Bolivar province, Petro said, “This resolution initiates a new possibility of a peace process in Colombia.”
What is the status of the talks currently?
Founded in 1964 by radical Catholic priests, the ELN comes from Latin America’s far-left traditions. Under the government of Juan Manuel Santos, who served as president from 2010 to 2018, the state began talks with the group.
However, in 2019, when those talks broke off, representatives of the ELN have opted to remain in Cuba.