“Neither the oligarchy nor the government of Santos that represents it, have the desire for a peace of these characteristics. They are stingy, arrogant, war lovers, they disregard the humble and they watch them only as a work force that makes them rich,” Nicolas Rodriguez, aka “Gabino,” told local media Monday.
The guerrilla leader added that Santos and his “oligarchy” want a “peace that is not uncomfortable to them, but rather that continues protecting the powerful omnipotents.”
The ELN have publicly asked for peace talks in the past, hoping to conduct a similar process to the dialogues that the government is currently holding with the country’s oldest living rebel group, the FARC. No such peace talks have materialized, even though Gabino said that they would be in favor of a bilateral ceasefire.
“But the government does not accept that because they are thirsty for blood and violence, and beacause they still get rich with war,” added the guerrilla forcefully.
“They have invented charges and violations of the law that they did not commit, solely because this regime does not tolerate critical stances nor the voice of those who make politics and live life in a different way, and in favor of the majorities,” said the rebel leader.
“For this reason, I think that this government and its [political] class in power, do not want peace,” concluded Gabino.
The National Liberation Army (ELN) is Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group that began in 1964, the same year as the FARC.
Gabino assumed leadership of the ELN in 1998.