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ELN frees 20 hostages amid peace talks with the Colombian government in Venezuela

The delegations of the Government of Colombia and the guerrilla National Liberation Army (ELN) for the peace talks closed this Monday the first cycle of negotiations in Caracas with the announcement that 20 people who were under the power of the irregular group were released in recent months.

“The parties report that from August 7 to date, in a clear manifestation of its commitment to peace in Colombia, the ELN has released 20 people, including civilians and members of the public force,” says the joint statement.

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Consulted at a press conference, the head of the ELN delegation, Israel Ramírez, alias “Pablo Beltrán”, did not offer details about the identities of those releasedalthough last week it became known that two minors who had been kidnapped in November, near the border with Venezuela, were released.

The joint statement read today, at the hotel in Caracas where the meetings have been held since November 21, includes a recognition of the “serious situation of violence that occurs in the Colombian territories” of Valle del Cauca and Chocó.

For this reason, they reiterated their commitment to implement a “partial agreement for emergency care” in these areas “that will start from January 2023.”

Likewise, “they recognize the serious humanitarian situation that exists in the prisons and agreed to provide humanitarian emergency care to a group of ELN political prisoners”continues the letter, without specifying which members of the guerrilla are referring to.

The talks They were resumed after four and a half years, with the encouragement of the Government of Gustavo Petro, and seek to have the support of the United States, which until now has not responded to the invitation, as well as the accompaniment of Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. .

In addition to having VenezuelaCuba and Norway as guarantor countries, the parties agreed to add Chile, Brazil and Mexico in this role.

Source: Elcomercio

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