The inauguration of these talks were supposed to have taken place in Quito last week, but were suspended after the guerrillas failed to surrender their prime hostage, former congressmen Odin Sanchez.
The government’s chief negotiator then said that the actual negotiations, scheduled for Thursday, could still proceed because the release operation had already begun.
But on Monday, the Red Cross denied such operation was taking place.
“There is no ongoing operating at this moment,” the humanitarian organization generally in charge of hostage release operations said.
The Archbishop of Cali, Monsignor Dario de Jesus Monsalve, did say last week that the protocol for the release operation had been put in place, which would allow the release of Sanchez within 48 hours.
But, the ELN and the government are bickering over when the effective operation should take place.
According to the government, the ELN had vowed to release the former governor before the beginning of the talks, while the ELN said this was not going to happen until after the beginning of the first round of talks.
To comply with the government conditions, the guerrillas said, they had released two hostages ahead of the announcement.
On Monday, the ELN said on Twitter that both parties did agree that — in spite of the row over Sanchez’ release — both parties committed to not cancel the talks.
However, with less than 48 hours until the day the talks would actually begin, chances of peace talks beginning as scheduled are increasingly slim.