Caracas, Nov 21 (EFE).- The National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas and the Colombian government on Monday resumed their peace dialogue in Caracas, where representatives of both parties are meeting in the presence of international observers, to restart the process suspended since 2018.
The Colombian government’s negotiating team is being headed by Otty Patiño, a former guerrilla close to President Gustavo Petro, while Israel Ramirez, alias “Pablo Beltran,” is in charge of the ELN delegation in the talks that include Venezuela as a guarantor nation.
In a joint statement, the parties agreed to “resume with full political and ethical willingness the process of political dialogue,” understanding this to be a demand “of the rural and urban territories which are suffering from violence and exclusion.”
In addition, the parties committed themselves to “building peace on the basis of a democracy with justice, with tangible, urgent and necessary changes” that will emerge from the talks.
All this, continued the declaration read by a moderator to reporters, will provide “the greatest possible and efficacious participation” to society, “prioritizing the historically marginalized and abandoned sectors for present and future dignity, with full rights and authentic democracy.”
In addition, the government and the ELN said they believe that “the construction of peace, as a policy of the state, transcends the present moment,” and will favor “permanent and verifiable commitments that sow the certainty of a new culture of peace founded on real changes, that permits overcoming political violence and its causes.”
The two groups thanked Venezuela, which also greeted them as the host country, along with Norway and Cuba, the two other guarantor nations who read another communique in which they ratified their support for the process.
In like manner, they said that they will adhere to “the values that are basic and pressing in the world,” including “respect for all forms of life and its dignity.”
“We’re aware of the need to respond to the different dimensions of collective life, which involve our duties to care for the planet,” the joint statement added.