Federico Gutiérrez affirms that “it will open the door to dialogue with the ELN”
Federico Gutiérrez, the candidate of Team for Colombia, stated that he does not rule out initiating dialogues with the National Liberation Army (ELN) if he manages to reach the Casa de Nariño, as long as the condition of maintaining security in the national territory is met. . The presidential candidate’s announcement came after the guerrilla reported the ceasefire during the electoral period in the country.
“I always welcome any ceasefire, because it means that there will be no deaths, that no more soldiers will be killed, no more policemen, that they will not kidnap, that they will not extort money as they have always done,” Gutiérrez said during his election campaign. Likewise, he indicated that he hopes that this ceasefire will be maintained indefinitely “so that when it arrives at the Casa de Nariño, dialogue can be held to benefit Colombia.”
In this sense, he made an explicit proposal to the Colombian guerrillas: “My proposal to them is that they leave this ceasefire indefinitely and that as soon as we win the Presidency, with the unilateral and indefinite ceasefire we sit down to dialogue towards Where is Colombia going?
It is important to remember that the ELN, in the statement announcing its ceasefire, stated that it is willing to start new talks with the national government when the new president of the Republic is known: “The National Liberation Army is willing to resume dialogues with the government of the President who is elected in the next electoral days”, reads the document released.
In context: The ELN announced a ceasefire during the next election day
The guerrilla indicated that the measure will begin at 0:00 am on Wednesday, May 25, and will last until 12:00 pm on Friday, June 3. The ELN specified that the ceasefire “only covers the military and police forces of the government; We reserve the right to defend ourselves in case of being attacked.”
On the other hand, the right-wing candidate pointed out that he will advance with the fulfillment of the Final Peace Agreement, especially to benefit the regions affected by the armed conflict. “We will emphasize the implementation of the multipurpose rural cadastre and the formalization of land to advance towards the goal of seven million hectares formalized,” explained the Gutiérrez government program.
The candidate would also offer a second chance to ex-combatants of the extinct FARC who have completed their reintegration process in civil society. The former mayor of Medellín stated that he would make an alliance with businessmen to guarantee entrepreneurship and decent employment for the more than 70,000 reincorporated so that they can continue with their life projects after laying down their arms.
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In the ELN announcement, the guerrillas also referred to the peace process and stressed the importance of “searching for alternatives” to the conflict for the good of the Colombian people.
“That a dialogue be opened where the majorities are allowed to be heard, the denied claims are addressed; the necessary transformations that can make Colombia a truly democratic country are analyzed”, says the document. In turn, they stressed that a peace process would be the opportunity to address other issues that are a priority for the country “such as: corruption, the murders of social leaders and drug trafficking,” he added.
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