Leaders of the ELN, Colombia’s second largest rebel group to announce peace talks, have been removed from Interpol’s list of internationally sought crime suspects.
However, Colombia’s Prosecutor General apparently has removed the names of the ELN leadership, who earlier on Wednesday announced the beginning of talks in Ecuador.
The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) is the worlds largest policing organisation and facilitates co-operation on matters of security between 190 countries.
It had housed the names of the leading members of the ELN on their arrest list over the course of their 51-year struggle against the government.
However, ELN commander-in-chief Nicolas Rodriguez Batista, a.k.a. “Gabino” has been removed.
Antonio Garcia, who was present in the Venezuelan capital Caracas for the announcement about the commencement of official talks, also no longer appears in the Interpol database.
Additionally Francisco Galan and Ramiro Vargas, other members of the left-wing guerrilla leadership, are no longer on the list of most wanted criminals on the international police database.
Both men had played an important role in the initial exploratory talks between the government and the guerrillas in advance of the official announcement.
Colombia’s government will engage in official talks with the leadership of the ELN rebels in Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela while Norway will have a role as a guarantor country.
The government are currently locked in the final stages of peace talks with the countries largest left-wing guerrilla group, the FARC.
Both peace initiatives seek to end the government’s half-a-decade armed struggle with the two extreme leftist groups.