This Tuesday, May 2, the third round of peace between the Petro Government and the ELN was installed in Havana (Cuba) to consult President Petro on the expectations that exist around this dialogue table.
The president indicated that the parties must work together to achieve significant progress in “total peace” and launched a proposal to implement a territorial and progressive ceasefire.
“The peace process must always reach a ceasefire, otherwise there is no point in talking about peace. At some point they have to stop shooting,” President Petro said.
The president indicated that the proposals are on the table and that he is in favor of regionalizing the sesefes. “Progressively they could increase in the national geography and, also, periodize them.”
President Petro’s statement was made from Madrid (Spain), where he is planning a state visit, but where he was informed about the beginning of the third cycle of peace with the ELN guerrillas.
According to Petro, building trust is key for the process to move forward and he was optimistic about the work that will begin on the island.
“You can start with regional ceasefires and, as time passes and trust is built, we can move forward to extend them to the entire national territory,” he said.
President Petro’s statement comes in the middle of his state visit to Spain, where he will hold high-level meetings and the so-called ‘total peace’ will be one of the important issues that will be discussed in the different meetings he will have.
Spain is one of the countries that provides the most support for the issue of peace in Colombia and in this sense, the president will tell the authorities of this country the progress made in the last hours with the different armed groups.
The delegation of the Government and the ELN installed the third cycle of peace in Cuba, where it is expected that they will agree to a bilateral cease-fire with hostilities, so that the parties will work in this direction.
The parties will seek to advance the negotiation agenda agreed on Mexico and define the road map with which delegations will address the issues. What is clear is that in this round there will be three key issues that will be discussed during almost a month of negotiations: participation in society, bilateral suspension and humanitarian relief.
What is on the table, for now, is that the peace delegation will focus on these three issues that have already been touched, but the idea is to consolidate them to apply them immediately in the territory. One of the innovations of this negotiation is that, agreed points, it will be implemented immediately.
On the point of society’s participation, the ELN insists that “the people must enter into the dialogues” in order to move forward quickly. It is not excluded that the families of the cadets killed at Escuela General Santander go to the island to face the guerrillas. This point is not yet confirmed, but the parties are working to make it possible.
Regarding the bilateral truce, the ELN says it is willing to do so but under a set of conditions that the Petro Government must define if it accepts. However, the Peace Commissioner, Danilo Rueda, said that they will insist on making progress in this matter so that the war stops affecting many cities where the ELN has historically been present.
Senator Iván Cepeda, who is also a negotiator for the Petro Government, said that the negotiations advanced in a very short time and will continue in the same direction.
“We come here with the firm goal of building an agreement on cease-fire and hostilities, and to advance in terms of social participation and citizens, in building peace, and also to advance in humanitarian aid to guarantee the many populations that today are in the midst of the The war can have such relief in a difficult time. We prepare ourselves with the best spirit, hope and conviction to face these problems and move towards peace,” said the congressman and negotiator.