Latin American Program in the News: "Colombia Widens Peace Talks Before Vote"

By Dan Molinski and Sara Schaefer Muñoz, The Wall Street Journal

Jun 11, 2014

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"Mr. Santos, a former defense minister in the Uribe administration who oversaw the most decisive blows against the guerrillas, has made achieving peace a pillar of his presidency. His announcement about the ELN dovetails with the government's stated hope of ending a conflict that has involved those two groups, as well as narco-trafficking outfits, bedeviling Latin America's third-most-populous country and its neighbors.

"He's reminding voters of what's at stake, and what's at risk, in terms of losing all the peace process momentum that's been created until now," said Cynthia Arnson, Latin America director at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

As with the FARC peace talks, the negotiations with the ELN would take place outside of Colombia, though officials haven't said where. The government also said there would be no cease-fire, a policy designed to keep the pressure on the rebels. ELN commanders didn't publicly comment over the announcement."

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