The decision would have been made by President Gustavo Petro, according to current administration sources, although this measure would only be in the initial stage
In the negotiations between the government and the ELN there would be no military presence. Reference image.
On the morning of this November 7, different Colombian media reported that, according to national government sources, there will be no military presence at the initial table with the ELN and the dialogues with other armed groups in the country. The news comes after statements by Defense Minister Iván Velásquez, where he assured that the uniformed officers should participate in these peacebuilding processes as they are an actor in the conflict.
“The military, due to their own condition, due to their own responsibility in contributing to the solution of the conflict, generating security and confronting organizations of this nature, I think they have important knowledge, knowledge about the actions of the organizations that would eventually be at these talks, they have knowledge of how to make the agreements effective and long-lasting, ”said the head of the Defense portfolio at the time.
However, at the same time he clarified that the one who had the solution and the last word on who should participate and in what way was the President of the Republic, Gustavo Petro: “He will be the one to say who the members of the force could be. public in these conversations, already in the past there was also the presence of the military in the process with the FARC, so it is not something unusual or extraordinary.”
But the information indicates that the decision not to involve the militia in an initial stage of the processes is made by the president himself; and that so far it is deciding who will be the negotiators at the ELN table, which according to what they commented will be five people. In addition, it is being defined whether the table will continue in Cuba or be transferred to another country, as well as the date and time of the restart, since the parties have not been able to agree, although initially it was said that November would be the month in which everything would begin. as part of the Government's policy of total peace.
As for the names of the initial negotiators, it is believed that those who will lead the process will be: the peace commissioner, Danilo Rueda, the senator of the Historical Pact, Iván Cepeda, and the Chancellor of the Republic, Álvaro Leyva; Well, these were the ones who previously traveled to Cuba to speak with the emissaries of the guerrillas, and who have been at the forefront since said process was reactivated.
For its part, a few weeks ago the ELN assured, through a statement, that it celebrates that the parties have the will to negotiate and launched a strong criticism of the previous government led by Iván Duque, where they said that this use of the process and the disagreements they had to cause damage to Cuba, a country that has been a guarantor both in the process of the extinct FARC and the ELN.
“The parties involved in this process have the common purpose of achieving the reestablishment of the dialogue table with the ELN (…) This is a victory for reason and international law against the purpose of perfidy that the Duque Government sought, not only to circumvent the obligations contracted with the ELN, and with the international community, but cause serious damage to the people and the Republic of Cuba, for being the host country of the talks in its commitment to the Peace of Colombia”, he highlights in the statement that calls the press conference of the subversive group.