The Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s largest left-wing guerrilla group, began a 180-day bilateral ceasefire on August 3. The truce will remain in force until January 29, 2024. The historic step was agreed upon on June 9 during the third round of peace negotiations between the two sides in Havana, Cuba.
The development marked the most concrete progress to date for leftist president Gustavo Petro and his government’s plan to bring “total peace” to the country and end over 60 years of internal armed conflict, during which more than 450,000 people have been killed.
During an event held in Corferias, Bogotá, the National Participation Committee, made up of 81 delegates from 30 different social movements, trade unions, human rights organizations, victims’ movements, and business organizations, among other sectors from all over the country, was established.
Above all the committee seeks to help achieve a successful peace process that is accompanied by transformations in society.
The event was attended by President Gustavo Petro, the head of government delegation Otty Patiño, the head of the ELN delegation Pablo Beltrán, the high commissioner for peace Danilo Rueda, Senator Iván Cepeda, and other members of the peace delegations. The event was also attended by a number of government ministers and officials, representatives of the UN, the Catholic Church, and guarantor countries, and around 2,000 citizens from regions across the country, who have historically suffered the most from the conflict.