New Colombian President Gustavo Petro Suspends Arrest Warrant Against Left Wing Guerrillas: Former M-19 Insurgent Promises “Total Peace”

Northern Colombia

Colombia’s president has paved the way to restart peace talks with the guerilla group, the left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN). Himself a former member of the M-19 urban guerilla group, President Petro has suspended all pending arrest warrants and extradition requests against the leadership of the group. It is part of a larger plan to resume peace negotiations and to bring to an end nearly 6 decades of war.

The declaration is part of his campaign promise after his victory. He has promised “total peace” in the Andean nation. President Petro said that he has authorized the restoration of protocols, allowed negotiators to reach out to the insurgent organization, and suspended pending arrest warrants against negotiators. He has also suspended extradition orders against such negotiators, paving the way for fresh talks with the leadership of the National Liberation Army.

President Petro was speaking after appearing at a meeting of the nation’s security council in Bolivar, a province of Colombia. He said that the resolution has initiated fresh possibilities for peace in the troubled nation.

The Leadership Of The Left Wing Rebels In Colombia Remain In Cuba

ELN representatives have stayed in Cuba even since talks between the group and former president Juan Manuel Santos collapsed in 2019. The group was formed by radical Catholic priests in 1964. It remains unclear how much the top leadership has control over units that operate deep inside the forests of Colombia and the countryside.

Several left-wing regimes have taken root in most parts of Latin America since the early and mid-2000s. Called the “Pink Tide,” the regimes that are part of a socialist spectrum, have been inspired by the Cuban Revolution and their success in the social sector initiated by the revolutionary government in Havana led by Fidel Castro.

President Petro spoke after attending a security council meeting in Bolivar. He said that the resolution would pave the way for a peace process in Colombia.