Mexico’s mediator suspected the FARC and the Cuban government of having frustrated peace talks held between rebel group ELN and the government of Alvaro Uribe, diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks Saturday showed.
Andres Valencia, the then-Mexican ambassador to Bogota, started in June 2004 and ended in April 18 2005 after the ELN rejected further Mexican interference in the peace talks.
According to the cables, Valencia told then-U.S. ambassador William Wood that he suspected the FARC and the Cuban government of having frustrated the talks to serve their own interests.
Valencia expected the Marxist rebels and the Castro government of having promoted a split within the ELN between the jailed and more moderate “Francisco Galan” and “Antonio Garcia,” who the cable describes as “more violent.”
Valencia speculated that psychological barriers or third party actors could
be responsible for the latest ELN retreat. The ELN has spent decades outside
the democratic system and could see talks in Mexico as marking the end of
their struggle. He said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
or the Cuban Government also could have scuttled the talks, the latter in an
attempt to win back the role facilitator.
In the cable, the Mexican mediator said that the FARC had influence over the more militant Garcia, who at the end of the peace talks had gained more support among troops.
Valencia also expressed concern that Cuba, active in negotiations up to
1999, was attempting to exert influence on the ELN and become a spoiler.
He noted that Cuban attacks against Mexico following the GOM's vote at the
Commission for Human Rights could work against his facilitation.
Following the failed talks under Mexican supervision, the rebel group — now led by Garcia — and the Colombian government turned to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to host peace talks. These talks also failed.
- February 24, 2005 – ELN peace talks advances and retreats (05BOGOTA1775)
- April 19, 2005 – Peace process with ELN stalls (05BOGOTA3726)