Colombian Prosecutor’s Office confirms it will cancel arrest warrant for ELN peace negotiators

The Colombian Attorney General’s Office has confirmed that it will comply with the order of President Gustavo Petro to suspend the search and arrest warrants for the members of the negotiating delegation that the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group has deployed in Havana.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office is waiting to receive officially from the Government the documentation specifying which of these persons will be relieved from the arrest warrants in order to comply with the presidential decree that Petro announced last week to resume the negotiation with the guerrilla.

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Among them is Israel Ramirez Pineda, alias ‘Pablo Beltran’, head of the ELN delegation in Havana and who was leading the negotiations with the government of the then president, Juan Manuel Santos, in 2018.

The list is completed by Víctor Orlando Cubides, alias ‘Aureliano Carbonell’; Luz Amanda Pallares alias ‘Silvana Guerrero’; Juan De Dios Lisarazo also known as ‘Alirio Sepúlveda’; Manuel Gustavo Martínez, or ‘Pablo Tejada’.

Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, Isabel Torres, María Consuelo Tapias, Tomás García Lavaina, Óscar Serrano and Vivian Henao are also found.

The arrest warrants against them were activated in January 2019, after the ELN claimed responsibility for the attack on a police cadet school in Bogota, which left about twenty dead and nearly seventy wounded. After that, the government of former President Iván Santos froze any negotiations.

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Since Petro’s triumph in the June 2022 elections, the ELN leadership has shown interest in resuming peace agreements, which began in February 2017 in Quito. Subsequently, they moved to Havana, where the last meeting took place in August of that year without progress.

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