First point of agreement between colombia’s government and the eln rebel group was reached last month in the venezuelan capital of caracas. representatives from both sides were present to negotiate a potential ceasefire and a safe return to their lands for indigenous people displaced by the conflict. this marks an important milestone in the 60 year long civil war, which has been ongoing since the formation of the eln in 1964.
Talks resumed following the election of president ivan duque in august 2018, who promised to bring “total peace” to colombia. along with venezuela, cuba and norway have agreed to act as co-sponsors of the peace process. the eln has about 2,500 members and is accused of getting funds through drug trafficking and illegal mining.
Talks are an attempt to end the conflict and bring reconciliation between the two sides. colombia’s high commissioner for peace, danilo rueda, has said that “human dignity” must be the focus of the peace dialogue, to eliminate the fear of being killed or kidnapped. eln delegation head pablo beltrán echoed this sentiment, saying: “we cannot see each other as enemies, the task we have is reconciliation.”