The Colombian government Monday demanded genuine acts of peace from ELN guerrillas, in response to a letter released by them Sunday calling for peace talks between themselves, the FARC and the government, reported Colombian media.
Interior Minister Herman Vargas Lleras reiterated a previous statement made by President Juan Manuel Santos that the government will only consider such proposals if they go hand-in-hand with acts of peace.
Vargas said, “President Juan Manuel Santos has stated clearly that in this matter neither good intentions nor letters are good enough, but that a path must be forged by unambiguous acts that demonstrate a real desire for peace.”
Sunday’s letter was a response to a proposal by the peace advocacy group Colombians for Peace, which raised the possibility of a 90-day ceasefire between the ELN, the FARC and the government.
The ELN described the NGO’s proposal as “a valuable contribution to the creation of a climate of humanitarian relief for the population and a contribution to the process of creating a dialogue between the insurgents and the national government.”
However the ELN was also critical of the position of Juan Manuel Santos’ government, which they described as “warmongering” and claimed that it blocks the possibility of peace negotiations.