On April 25, Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla reported that the third round of the peace talks between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group would begin in Havana, Cuba, on May 2.
Last month, Colombian President Gustavo Petro met with the members of his peace negotiating team and instructed them to try to reach agreements on a bilateral ceasefire and mechanisms for the participation of civil society in the process by the end of the third round of talks.
The meeting was held after an attack by the ELN against a military unit in Norte de Santander left nine soldiers dead and another nine wounded. The ELN explained that the group has the right to defend itself and respond to the attacks it faces from the military forces, recalling that it has not yet agreed to a bilateral ceasefire with the government.
“We will host from May 2, with the traditional willingness and impartiality of Cuba as guarantor and alternative venue, the celebration in Havana of the Third Round of the Peace Negotiating Table between the Colombian government and the ELN,” wrote Rodríguez.
For its part, Colombia’s High Commissioner for Peace reiterated the government’s “willingness to move forward in the process” and thanked Cuba for its “invaluable support for peace in Colombia.”
In turn, the ELN said that in the upcoming round, the delegations would work to reach agreements on three topics: “participation of civil society, bilateral ceasefire, and humanitarian actions and dynamics.”