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Agreement in Colombia

Agreement in Colombia

After more than half a century of armed conflict, the government of Gustavo Petro has achieved an unprecedented milestone in Colombia: the signing of a six-month ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN). The truce represents a crucial step and the first concrete result for the “total peace” project pursued by the left-wing president, who in his youth was a member of the M-19 guerrilla organization. The announcement also alleviates the pressure on the president in the midst of the political crisis generated by a network of illegal wiretaps and the dismissal of two most trusted positions, his chief of staff and the ambassador in Venezuela, which degenerated into a legislative blockade. of urgent social reforms.

The ceasefire sealed in Havana between Petro and Antonio Garcia, ELN commander, is excellent news in the first place for the rural communities that have suffered the most and continue to bear the consequences of violence. After the historic peace agreement between the Colombian State and the FARC, reached in 2016 by former President Juan Manuel Santos, the ecosystem of Colombian irregular groups changed and a new dispute for control of the territory began. Paramilitary gangs, drug cartels, dissidents of the FARC and the ELN participate in it, a guerrilla with ideological postulates that mix Marxism and liberation theology, traditionally much less hierarchical and more uncontrolled than other insurgent organizations. For these reasons, the ceasefire has concrete repercussions beyond its symbolism.

However, it is not enough. To begin with, neither the suspension of the kidnappings nor the end of the extortions are part, for the moment, of this agreement, which focuses on an interruption of the armed activities, as usually happens every Christmas. In addition, it is opportune to take the compromise with caution, since precisely the difficulty in controlling all the ELN fronts makes the agreed protocols especially elusive.

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