The Colombian government warned Sunday that a ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group would not happen if the ELN continued to commit terrorist attacks.
The head of Colombia’s delegation to peace talks with the ELN, Juan Camilo Restrepo signaled the warning, which was responding to a petition carried out on social media by the ELN.
The petition called on a bilateral and permanent ceasefire, which sought to pressure the government.
“The bilateral ceasefire and the end of hostilities will take place when we understand that confrontation is deescalating, not escalating,” said Restrepo.
The Colombian Defense Ministry has pointed at the ELN as being responsible for an assassination attempt this week against the governor of the northern of Santander, William Villamizar.
The ELN has also been identified as likely being responsible for an attack a week ago in Bogota’s neighborhood of La Macarena, which killed a policeman and left 23 injured.
After this attack, the Colombian army stated it would not be ending offensives against the guerrilla group.
While the ELN has not claimed responsibility for either of these attacks, Restrepo said, “If more lamentable terrorism comes from the ELN, the further the possibility of reaching a bilateral ceasefire in Quito will be.”
However, dialogue will resume between the government and the ELN in Ecuador, with the guerrilla group expected to react to its alleged responsibility for these latest attacks. Enditem