Gerardo Bermudez, alias “Francisco Galan,” a former member of the guerrilla group ELN, spoke out to ELN members Thursday asking them to “end the war” in Colombia and help stop domestic armed conflict.
Bermudez broadcasted his request to the central command of ELN by posting a letter to the group that is publically available online. He pointed out that “(ELN) hasn’t proposed any peaceful processes; and if they aren’t prepared to abandon the war and take a collective decision as an oranization to seek the end of the conflict, [Colombia] will not be able to bear any more failures in the quest for peace.”
The ex-ELN spokesmen admitted that he wanted to come forward to his former companions after the Colombian police published a recent picture of them that appears to depict a meeting of bosses.
At the same time, there has been an ongoing letter exchange between the former senator Piedad Cordoba, leader of the “Colombians for Peace” collective, and Nicolas Rodriguez Bautista, alias “Gabino,” the head of the ELN.
“I don’t believe that it is possible to begin to seek peace now if we don’t first decide internally on behalf of the group to abandon the war and search for other ways to end the conflict” commented “Galan al Coce,” a member of the guerrilla group’s central command.
The ELN was formed in 1964 and has been fighting the Colombian state since then. Bermudez formed part of the rebel group until early 2008 when according to the members of the ELN’s central command, he had gone too far in peace efforts with the government and was suspended and then dismissed from the group.