A former leader of Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group ELN has urged his former companions to lay down their arms and join the peace process, reported local media Tuesday.
In an interview with RCN La Radio, former ELN spokesman “Francisco Galan” said he supported the peace talks confirmed by President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel leader Timochenko, warning other guerrilla members that this might be their last chance to abandon the war and join the government’s processes of peace to contribute to the country’s political life.
“I have to be careful that my words don’t bother the conversations, I salute this process and I hope that it arrives at a good end. I say to my ex-companions, please abandon the war. Make the decision to leave the war; if they haven’t left yet for this process they still can, it’s the last opportunity,” said Galan.
The former guerrilla said that “they produce more deaths in violence than incorporated in peace […] It is time to look for the road of incorporation into the political life.”
“I have a lot of hope that this will be the last process of peace in a violence lasting more than 48 years,” Galan added.
The ex-leader confirmed that he will meet with Congress President Roy Barreras and with President Santos to “talk about the regulatory law of peace.”
Galan was the ELN’s main spokesman until 2009 when the rebel organization expelled him for being too willing to compromise to favor of a peace agreement.