In contrast to the FARC’s hierarchical structure, the ELN have a collective decision making structure which will complicate the negotiating process. A 2016 report from Conflict Analysis Resource Centre, CERAC, says that “A negotiated solution to the conflict with the ELN is not only necessary but will bring fewer human and economic losses to the country than an elusive termination to the conflict by military means.” Bogotá Post
One of the major criticisms of the peace talks has been the issue of popular participation, given that social organizations have not been represented. For that reason, and bearing in mind peace talks with ELN, OXFAM and Planeta Paz are launching the National Agenda for Peace. This project gathers the voices of those really responsible to live, verify and implement the peace agreements. Las2Orillas
The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the launch of formal peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the ELN rebel group, also known as the National Liberation Army. António Guterres issued a statement through his spokesperson on Wednesday after the two parties met in Ecuador's capital, Quito. UN Radio
Now, with this liberation, ELN complies with the demands required to initiate peace talks with ELN, totally suspended on October 27. The negotiation will concentrate on five points. Victims, corruption, citizen participation, poverty, social exclusion and guarantees for the end of the conflict are at the core of negotiations. While less than five months ago the Prosecutor's Office issued out collective indictments of ELN leadership, today these same individuals are the protagonists of a new chapter in the construction of peace in Colombia. El Espectador
Clouds gathered Monday over peace talks aimed at ending Colombia's half-century conflict after the ELN rebels claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a bullring in Bogota. The leftist rebels' claim of responsibility, issued late Sunday on Twitter, pollutes the air at the peace talks as President Juan Manuel Santos seeks a deal with Colombia's last active rebel group to end a conflict that has killed 260,000 people. The ELN also claimed responsibility for a February 14 attack on a military patrol in eastern Colombia that wounded two soldiers, as well as several bombings on the Cano Limon Covenas oil pipeline.Enca
ELN, says senator Alvaro Uribe, "murders the nation's soldiers, blows up a pipeline, attacks citizens in Bogotá and nothing happens. Dialogue should be suspended until ELN accepts and abides by a total cessation of criminal activity," said the founder of the Centro Democrático. El País
ELN atenta contra Bogotá, asesina policía de la Patria, derrama petróleo en rio de Boyacá y Santos mantiene el diálogo.
Qué mal ejemplo! pic.twitter.com/2lOCUzhLrV
Truth is that today's meeting takes place amidst an atmosphere of trust, especially after yesterday when ELN delivered to a mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Ombudsman's Office, and the Catholic Church private Fredy Moreno Mahecha, who had been kidnapped a week ago by the front Domingo Laín on the road to Tame from Arauca. This fact was received as a clear sign of good will on the part of the guerrilla so the dialogues begin with the right foot forward. Everything seems to be arranged for it to be the case. El Tiempo
This is the ELN’s fourth official attempt to negotiate with the Colombian state. With its more horizontal and decentralised structure, and because revolutionary dissent is an ELN objective, the group is considered to be more “stubborn” than the FARC. As such, it is difficult to predict the outcome of this upcoming peace process. It is expected to be different than the four-year-long FARC negotiations, which were often perceived as an elite-to-elite conversation. With the ELN, civil society, including environmental organisations and trade unions that share some of the group’s views will have a voice in the peace process.
This will enable a wider-ranging national negotiation that could, in turn, strengthen and reinforce the existing FARC agreement by supporting a broader peace-building exercise. Still, a peace agreement is not peace; it is a roadmap for how to arrive at peace. If President Santos succeeds in negotiating and signing a peace accord with the ELN, it would be a momentous achievement. But it would mark the beginning of another journey for Colombia, not an arrival. The Huffington Post
We said from the outstart that ELN will not commit to anything we can't carry out. The debate on peace within the left and inside ELN is very broad, but more than a political debate, it's a debate over credibility: last year, 117 leaders were killed, one every three days, and in the early days January the count had reached 15, one every other day. What message is that? But we will not be leaving this table, we will persevere in seeking a political solution to the conflict, despite the adversities that exist. We have doubts, but that does not mean that this delegation is going to get off the table. El Espectador