Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez announced that a six-month ceasefire agreement was reached after negotiations.
Rodriguez stated that the 180-day temporary ceasefire between the parties will be implemented from 3 August.
Pablo Beltran, chief negotiator of the ELN delegation, thanked Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel for his contribution to the negotiation process, saying, “This ceasefire has a humanitarian purpose, the violence of the conflict must be reduced in order for the Colombian community to participate in peacebuilding.” used the phrase.
Antonio Garcia, one of the senior leaders of the ELN, also thanked Colombian President Gustavo Petro and said, “Today is a very special day, I am extremely grateful to you for the trust you have placed in the Colombian people.” he said.
High Commissioner for Peace Danilo Rueda emphasized that a historical decision has come to life and said, “All these decisions will be implemented gradually and constructively. Issues of life and freedom are at the center of the decisions. The ELN has never been so close to the participation of the society in the process.” made its assessment.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro also attended the final stage of the third round of peace negotiations, which started in the capital Havana on May 2.
President Petro stated that the ELN offered them a national ceasefire and said, “In May 2025, the decades-long war between the ELN and the state will come to an end.” used the phrase.
Returning to the negotiating table after three years
The parties, which met in the capital Caracas, under the guarantor and host of Venezuela, resumed the peace talks suspended in 2019 on November 22, 2022.
The meeting, in which Norwegian and Venezuelan observers were present, was led by Otty Patino on behalf of the Colombian government, and Pablo Beltran led the ELN delegation.
In the first round of talks, a ceasefire could not be reached on December 13, 2022, but a decision was made to improve the humanitarian aid and conditions of imprisoned ELN militants in some regions.
The second round of peace talks, which started in Mexico on February 14, was concluded with the recognition of the “political status of the ELN”.
Left-wing Gustavo Petro, who won the presidential election in Colombia and took over on August 7, 2022, promised to implement the 2016 Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and to hold peace talks with the ELN when he came to power.
Negotiations were suspended by then-President Ivan Duque after the organization’s attack on a police school in 2019 killed 22 people.