ELN Guerilla Claims Desire to Work Towards Peace

By Dialogo
January 07, 2013

In a video posted on their website on January 3, Colombian ELN (National Liberation Army) guerrilla leader Nicolás Rodríguez, alias Gabino, demanded that the Armed Forces work to put an end to the armed conflict in the country.

“Today it is necessary to have nobility to embrace peace. And who better to work for it” than those who “have endured and developed the war with profound cruelty,” the insurgent leader stated.

The ELN, the second largest guerrilla group in Colombia, with 2,500 combatants, has publicly stated that they intend to start peace talks, like the ones being held by the government and the FARC in Cuba since November.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has shown his willingness to agree to talks with the ELN, although he has requested time, discretion, and the right attitude to establish contacts.

Government and FARC delegates started their talks on November 19 in Havana. Currently, the process is recessed until January 14.

The FARC declared a truce in its offensive actions from November 20 until January 20. However, the Armed Forces have not ceased fire.

In his message, aimed particularly at the military commanders, Gabino also asked for “a profound reflection and complete support for the peace process and all the efforts that are made to this end.”

In the six minute—47-second–long video, the rebel leader also asked for the “active participation” of Colombian intellectuals and young people in order to bring an end the Colombian armed conflict, which has been going on for nearly fifty years.