Home World News Colombia: ELN guerrillas ambush and kill nine soldiers, in setback to Petro’s peace plan

Colombia: ELN guerrillas ambush and kill nine soldiers, in setback to Petro’s peace plan

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Colombia: ELN guerrillas ambush and kill nine soldiers, in setback to Petro’s peace plan

In the middle of the night, in El Carmen, in the Catatumbo region of northeastern Colombia, members of the ELN guerrilla he ambushed and killed nine soldiersjust as that group is conducting peace negotiations with President Gustavo Petro’s government, the military said.

“Preliminarily they inform us of the assassination of 9 of our soldiers” in El Carmen, department of Norte de Santander (northeast), the army said in a message sent to the media, who attribute the attack to the rebels of the Army of national liberation (ELN).).

President Peter He expressed his “total repudiation” on Twitter the fact. Without referring to the ELN, the president assured that the soldiers were victims of “those who today are absolutely far from peace and from the people”.

However, a few minutes later, he wrote on the same social network that he had summoned the government delegation to the ELN table for consultations. And that a peace process must be serious and responsible.

According to the government of Norte de Santander, on the border with Venezuela, there are eight other wounded soldiers.

The guerrilla, of Guevarist inspiration, he has been in dialogue with Petro’s emissaries since November to put an end to their nearly six-decade-long armed uprising.

Negotiations began in November in Caracas and had a second round in Mexico City in March. without reaching a ceasefire agreement.

In January, the sides experienced their most tense moment when the rebels denied being part of a bilateral truce that Petro had announced on New Year’s Eve with the country’s main armed groups.

Hostilities continued and the army he constantly reports kidnappings and assaults with explosives that left several dead and wounded.

This Wednesday’s attack is the one that made the most victims since Petro came to power in August.

Members of the second round of the Roundtable for peace talks between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) pose in Mexico, in February.  Photo: EFE

Members of the second round of the Roundtable for peace talks between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) pose in Mexico, in February. Photo: EFE

In September dissidents of the Farc guerrillas who did not accept the 2016 peace agreement they killed seven policemen in Huila Department (center).

Petro’s “total peace”.

Petro, the first leftist to attain the presidency, wants to end the conflicts in Colombia with a policy called “Total Peace”, which stumbles the world’s leading producer of cocaine, the main source of financing for the armed groups operating in the country.

The third round of negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN is expected to take place in Cuba, although the parties have not specified when it will take place.

The ELN supported failed negotiations with five governments. Petro resumed peace talks that had been thwarted with his predecessor Iván Duque (2018-2022) due to an attack on a military school in Bogotá that left 23 dead, including the attacker, in 2019.

the one on the right Iván Duque then buried the conversations and closed the door to new approaches up to the ELN cease hostilities against the public force and set aside drug trafficking.

Ivan Duque greets then president-elect Gustavo Petro (right) in August 2022. Photo: AFP

Ivan Duque greets then president-elect Gustavo Petro (right) in August 2022. Photo: AFP

The rebels have historically been reluctant to shut down their operations as a sign of his desire for peace. In February, Petro described the detention of a sergeant in Arauca (East) Department as “sabotage” at the talks.

Petro wants to end half a century of internal conflicts with a policy called “Total Peace”, which is making great strides in the world’s largest producer of cocaine, the main source of funding for armed groups operating in the country.

The Clan del Golfo, Colombia’s largest drug gang, was also part of the truce, but the government suspended it on March 18 due to attacks on the civilian population and uniformed personnel.

Petro wants to end half a century of internal strife with a policy called "Total Peace".  Photo: Reuters

Petro wants to end half a century of internal strife with a policy called “Total Peace”. Photo: Reuters

The opposition criticizes the president the concessions it granted to irregular groups and the order he gave the military to cease offensive operations.

“A government dedicated to drug trafficking and to all criminal organizations (…) “Total peace” cannot mean the surrender of the country“, former right-wing presidential candidate Federico Gutiérrez said on Twitter this Wednesday.

Havana has already hosted the negotiations that ended with the demobilization, in 2016, of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), for years the largest guerrilla in the country.

AFP, AP and Telam

ap

Source: Clarin

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