Mexico will once again host a cycle of peace talks between Colombia and the ELN guerrillas. This was announced over the weekend in Cali, where the Mexican president met with Gustavo Petro at the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Drugs.
Mexico as the Host
Mexico hosted the first cycle of peace talks between the Colombian government and the ELN guerrillas in the final months of last year. The good rapport between the Mexican and Colombian governments has led to Mexico being chosen as the host for a new cycle of the peace process with the continent’s oldest still-operational guerrilla group.
“I have to thank you for the hospitality that Mexico will provide for the fifth cycle, which will take place in November in the peace dialogue between the Government and the National Liberation Army,” said Gustavo Petro in Cali
How Are the Talks Progressing?
One week ago, the fourth cycle of this peace process concluded in Caracas, following previous rounds in Mexico, Havana, and Caracas. It was in Caracas where the most significant partial agreement was made public: the bilateral ceasefire announced on June 9.
Not much information has emerged from this fourth cycle, which took place from August 14 in Caracas. It is known that the table announced they would undertake unspecified “humanitarian actions that promote the bilateral, national, and temporary ceasefire, and encourage the participation of communities, peoples, and other social, economic, and political forces in these territories.”
It has also been reported that during this fourth round, work was done on a plan for people considered “political prisoners” and for ELN members who are incarcerated.
The Colombian president is optimistic about the progress of the dialogue between his country and the ELN. It’s worth noting that this was an early initiative of his government. The peace process broke down between the ELN and the previous Colombian government, that of President Duque, in January 2019, when a brutal attack by the guerrillas on a police school in Bogota resulted in the deaths of 23 people, including the perpetrator.
Petro stated that the dialogue is currently advancing “with certain steps like never before” and, most importantly, he announced the year 2025 as the end of the conflict with this insurgency.
“With your hospitality, we hope to take even greater steps on a matter that has to do with the peace of Colombia, which fundamentally is also the peace of Latin America,” Petro concluded in front of his guest, the Mexican president.