As in the talks in Havana, government delegations and ELN will not see each other at the conversation table

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The Colombian State negotiating team was located on the left, while the guerrilla delegates were on the right of the table, set up in ' U'

 As in the talks in Havana, government delegations and ELN will not see each other's faces at the conversation table

This Monday, November 21, the conversation table between the Government of Colombia and the ELN was reinstated in Caracas. Screenshot (Office of the High Commissioner for Peace)

The dialogues began. That was, in summary, the announcement delivered by the delegations of both the national government and the National Liberation Army —ELN— this Monday, November 21, from the Humboldt Hotel in Caracas. As it happened in the dialogues in Havana carried out between the extinct FARC and the Colombian State, the table was set up in such a way that the negotiators could not see each other face to face.

The assembly that the table will have in the dialogues will be 'U', in which the delegates of both the Government and the guerrilla remained in the horizontal zone of the same. Thus, they will not be able to look at each other's faces in conversations. In fact, the State negotiating team was left on the left side of the table, while the ELN was on the right. On the flanks will be the officials guaranteeing the process, such as the representative of the UN Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu.

However, Unlike the table in Havana, the one in Caracas does have the flanks that form the U of the assembly, but beyond that the delegates will be seated horizontally. In the center will be the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, and Pablo Beltrán, leader of the ELN negotiating team.

As in the talks in Havana, government delegations and the ELN will not see each other's faces at the conversation table in Havana.

Dialogues in Havana between the Colombian State and the extinct FARC. Colprensa Archive/National Government.

Pablo Beltrán, the first to announce the resumption of the peace process

The head of the negotiating team of the National Liberation Army spoke first after announcing the announcement of the resumption of this first phase of talks. In his speech, the commander of that guerrilla group thanked Venezuela for hosting this stage of dialogue, as well as the Catholic Church for its accompaniment.

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“All this support and accompaniment commits us and we hope that the moment of change that Colombia is asking for, which has been expressed in multiple ways, in the streets and that demands that there be fundamental changes,” Beltrán said. The second to speak was Commissioner Rueda, the government's chief negotiator, who said that there is “faith and hope” that the peace process will come to fruition. In passing, he emphasized that the changes proposed by the Petro Government delegation are “true and real”.

“(…) The first meeting we held on the morning of Today, with the ELN peace delegation, he is giving us certainty and the deep conviction that we are going to achieve the purpose that unites us: to be children of the same country with changes and transformations,” said Commissioner Rueda.

Cepeda and Lafaurie, together at the same table

During this Monday the 21st, a photo taken in a meeting prior to the announcement of the reinstatement of the table was released. Senator Iván Cepeda and the president of Fedegán, José Félix Lafaurie, appear there: both members of the national government's negotiating team but with totally different political positions. Despite the captured image, the leader of the cattle union was notably absent from the protocol act for the resumption of the peace process.

After accepting the proposal of the president Gustavo Petro to integrate the State delegation in the dialogues, Lafaurie has stated that his presence at the table will be important to know the effects during the armed conflict that the sector has had represents. Likewise, the head of state told him the day he made the proposal (November 17) that it is important that this sector of society know “the intimacy” of a peace process.

As in the talks in Havana, government delegations and ELN will not see each other's faces at the conversation table

Senator Iván Cepeda and José Félix Lafaurie, both located on different political sides, will be part of the same negotiating team with the ELN in Caracas. Photo taken from Twitter (@ALFREDOSAADEV)