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Colombia will restart peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army | CNN


The Colombian government and the insurgent group the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced on Tuesday the resumption of peace negotiations, after a three-year pause.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference of top ELN leaders and a team of negotiators representing the Colombian government in Caracas, Venezuela.

Venezuela is one of the guarantor countries in the negotiation process, which began more than six years ago but was stopped in 2019 by former Colombian President Iván Duque.

His successor, Gustavo Petro, has made restarting peace talks a top priority in his government since taking office in August.

Last month, Colombia and Venezuela restored diplomatic relations after more than two years, aimed in part at resuming talks with guerrilla forces that control much of the territory along the Colombia-Venezuela border.

The ELN is one of the largest guerrilla forces still active in the region. Born as a Marxist insurgent force in the 1960s, the group finances its activities through kidnapping, extortion and involvement in drug trafficking.

In recent years, the ELN has expanded its operations in southern Venezuela, where it controls illegal mining operations.

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