Final Colombian Rebel Faction Reaches Truce, Defense Minister Expresses Regret for Unlawful Killings
Ending Decades of Conflict: Truce Reached with Last Colombian Guerrilla Group
The Colombian government and the country’s last active guerrilla group have reached an agreement for a truce, putting an end to nearly six decades of conflict. The National Liberation Army (ELN) has declared that it will cease fighting from July 6th, with the condition that it will defend itself against any attacks from the military or other armed factions. In response, Colombia’s defense minister has confirmed that the armed forces will also halt their offensives during this period.
Apology for Unlawful Killings: Defense Minister Acknowledges Past Mistakes
However, concerns have been raised about the success of the ceasefire after three policemen were killed by ELN members on the same day it was announced. This incident followed the recent killing of six ELN members by government forces. The truce is part of President Gustavo Petro’s commitment to achieving “total peace” in Colombia since taking office last year. Additionally, Colombia’s Defense Minister, Ivan Velasquez, expressed condolences to the family of Alix Fabián Vargas Hernández, a victim of extrajudicial killings by the Colombian army.
Hernández was falsely portrayed as a guerrilla fighter killed in combat, when in reality he was murdered by the national army in 2008. Velasquez clarified that Hernández’s death did not occur during a confrontation with a guerrilla group, and offered a public apology. The sister of Hernández questioned why she was receiving apologies from individuals who had no involvement in her brother’s murder, and why those responsible were not present to face the consequences. It has been reported that between 2002 and 2008, over 6,400 individuals were killed as a result of extrajudicial killings in Colombia.