Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group ELN announced on Tuesday that there can be no end to the armed conflict unless the Colombian government “characterizes the conflict differently.”
An editorial on the ELN’s website, titled “One Conflict and Two Solution Models,” outlined how the guerrillas perceive the decades of violent struggle in Colombia and that “the effort to synthesize common elements of view over the conflict is indispensable to developing a joint model to resolve it.”
In the editorial, the ELN claim that the armed struggle is “a conflict for power between the dominate elite and the popular forces who oppose them,” and that Colombian government needs to see the situation from their point of view and not label them as “terrorists.”
“The exclusion and the repression as the preferred means by the government to impose their own interests on the people is the cause of the uprisings and popular rebellions,” the ELN stated.
However, the editorial assured that the ELN shares the same idea as Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos that “the reality of the Colombian conflict is singular,” and thus the manner to overcome it has “unique standard features,” according to Bucaramanga’s Vanguardia newspaper.
Nevertheless, the publication did state that the government “characterizes the conflict in a manner that is very different than how the Armed Forces perceive it.”
“If we do not overcome this intersection of diagnostics and solutions, the process of dialogue and negotiation regarding the end of the conflict will be condemned to failure,” the editorial said.
While agreeing to discuss with the Colombian government a possible end to the violent conflict, the ELN confirmed that their recent disposition in favor of establishing peace dialogues “neither comes from an act of surrender nor submission;” instead, the group “looks to continue the fight for power in a different way,” according to Colombia’s El Pais newspaper.
“We are developing two efforts at dialogue with the administration, and to advance this process to that of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), we are open to learning from them,” the ELN stated.
- “Nuestro deseo de paz es otra forma de llegar al poder”: ELN (Vanguardia)
- Un Solo Conflicto y Dos Modelos de Solucion (ELN-Voces)
- “Nuestro deseo de paz es otra forma de llegar al poder”: ELN (El Pais)