HomeNewsBriefAmid Concerns Over FARC Peace Deal, Ecuador Stops Hosting ELN Talks
BRIEF

Amid Concerns Over FARC Peace Deal, Ecuador Stops Hosting ELN Talks

COLOMBIA / 19 APR 2018 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

With concerns mounting over the aftermath of Colombia's peace deal with the FARC rebels, Ecuador's government has announced it will no longer host negotiations between Colombia and the ELN guerrillas, the latest in a long line of setbacks for the attempted peace process.

Government officials in Ecuador announced that they will no longer facilitate peace negotiations between the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional - ELN), Colombia’s largest remaining guerrilla group, according to an April 18 government press release.

Official statements tied the decision to insecurity along Ecuador's border with Colombia, the most prominent recent example of which was the kidnapping and killing of three Ecuadorean press workers by dissident elements of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC).

"Due to the difficult situation on the northern border ... it is impossible to continue" hosting the peace talks, the press release stated.

SEE ALSO: Ecuador News and Profiles

Colombian Chancellor María Ángela Holguín responded to the move by saying that President Santos "understands the reasons why [Ecuadorean President Lenin] Moreno has decided to deviate from his status as guarantor and host of these negotiations.”

Chancellor Holguín added that the Colombian government will "immediately initiate the pertinent procedures to transfer those conversations to one of the countries that were previously established as alternative headquarters," including Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela or Norway.

According to El Colombiano, Chile and Cuba are most likely choices, but it remains to be seen where the ELN peace talks will be taking place moving forward.

InSight Crime Analysis

The violence along the Colombia-Ecuador border involving ex-FARC elements appears to be having knock-on effects on the ELN's already shaky peace process.

In the wake of the 2016 peace deal with the FARC, many fighters abandoned the demobilization process and continued to engage in criminal activities. In recent months, these ex-FARC mafia groups have been blamed for a series of bold attacks along the Ecuador-Colombia border, including the murder of the press workers and bombings of police stations.

Other criminal groups, including the ELN, have also been blamed for violence in the border region. For example, an April 18 attack attributed to the ELN near Colombia's border with Ecuador left some 270,000 people without power.

SEE ALSO: ELN News and Profile

In this context, it appears to have become politically unsustainable for Moreno to continue to host peace talks with a rebel group committing aggressions affecting Ecuador's security. The decision, while understandable, could nevertheless spell trouble for the precarious peace process with the ELN.

Peace talks between the Colombian government and the ELN have been on rocky footing since they began in early 2017. After a three-month ceasefire between the ELN and the government ended in January 2018, the guerrillas went on a violent offensive across Colombia, prompting Santos to suspend the peace talks.

Now, without a guarantor of the negotiations, there is no way for them to move forward. And the longer the talks stall, the more likely it is that elements of the fractious ranks of the ELN will abandon the process entirely.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 17 MAY 2019

The capture of a top leader of Los Pachelly, a powerful gang centered in the town of Bello near Medellín, has…

COLOMBIA / 24 APR 2015

Authorities in Colombia have captured the leaders of a network that allegedly trafficked cocaine via plane for criminal organization the…

ECUADOR / 2 MAR 2017

A string of multi-ton cocaine seizures in Ecuador and the Caribbean suggest massive drug shipments have made a comeback in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…