United Nations Organization (EFE) .- The Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, announced this Thursday that in a few days a multilateral ceasefire will be considered with several armed groups that have approached the government in its project of “total peace” .

“In a few days a public question will also be raised, the possibility of a multilateral ceasefire which would be the beginning of the end of the violence in Colombia,” Petro said in a statement to the media in New York where he is visiting to attend the UN General Assembly.

That ceasefire involves several groups that have approached the government in recent weeks, the president said, but did not give details on which or how many.

“It will involve all those who want a process of negotiation with Colombian justice to dismantle criminal organizations. What we are proposing is to cease hostilities, death, a ceasefire,” detailed the president before heading to the airport to return to Colombia.

Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia.

multilateral ceasefire

Since becoming president on August 7, Petro has embarked on a path of dialogue with various armed groups in order to reach a peace agreement or bring him to justice.

The first steps took place in Havana, where a Colombian government delegation met again with delegates from the National Liberation Army (ELN) to resume talks stalled for four years due to clashes with the ex-executive of Iván Duque and because the guerrillas never stopped their actions, carrying out attacks, kidnappings and other crimes.

Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia, speaks at the United Nations General Assembly. EFE/EPA/Justin Lane

Furthermore, last week, a delegation from the Colombian government and another from the “central staff” of ex-FARC dissidents held an “exploratory meeting” in the southern department of Caquetá to “assess the possibility of engage in a dialogue within the framework of a peace”, which would include precisely this bilateral ceasefire.

Petro then announced that he had started “a dialogue” with this group which brings together most of the fronts which left the peace agreement or never reached it, with the exception of the Second Marquetalia, commanded by Luciano Marín Arango, aka “Iván Márquez”, which is a much smaller band.

If this multilateral ceasefire is confirmed, it would be the first major act of ending the conflict since the signing of peace with the FARC in 2016 and the paralysis of talks with the ELN in 2018, after which the last major attack took place in Colombia, that of January. February 17, 2019 at the General Santander police cadet school in Bogotá, which left 23 dead and nearly a hundred injured.

Web editing: Natalia Vargas

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