New Colombian President Proposes Peace Talks and Ceasefire with ELN

New Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Tuesday he had proposed a bilateral ceasefire with the rebel group National Liberation Army (ELN) to end the war in Colombia.

Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president and former guerilla fighter for M-19, said he had sent a message to ELN and other armed groups, saying the “time for peace has come.” 

On Monday, ELN guerillas expressed their willingness to engage in the peace process but said they would continue the “system of struggle and political and military resistance.”

In his victory speech last month, Petro had promised peace in Colombia, suggesting dialogues with armed groups.

Petro also said he hopes to cooperate with Venezuela to eliminate the armed groups operating along the country’s borders. 

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