Brazil, Costa Rica and Venezuela announced Monday that they would be glad to host peace talks between Colombia’s government and the country’s second-largest rebel group ELN.
Dr. Jaime Bernal Cuellar, former Inspector General of Colombia and a key member of the team that will facilitate any peace talks between the ELN and the government, announced that the three Latin American countries would join the list of those countries vying to host any ELN peace talks.
But Cuellar confirmed that the time, place, agenda, and methodology have yet to be discussed in full or agreed upon. Since the ELN’s release of Canadian hostage Jernoc Wobert in late August, the Colombian government has shown itself willing to begin peace talks, encouraged by support from the United Nations, the Catholic Church, and international aid organization Red Cross.
Uruguay has been a main advocate of helping Colombia in this peace process, and Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos will meet with his Uruguayan counterpart, Jose Mujica, in New York soon to discuss potential peace talks with the rebel group.
The ELN, or “National Liberation Army”, began in 1964 as a Marxist group influenced by Liberation Theology. It currently has an estimated 1,500 active members.
The complete list of countries that wish to host peace talks now includes Cuba, Uruguay, Brazil, Costa Rica and Venezuela.
The government have been in peace talks with Colombia’s largest and oldest rebel group FARC since November. They are currently taking place in Havana, Cuba, and they began in Oslo, Norway.