Colombia: Mexico agrees to join as guarantor of peace talks with ELN
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) Friday told his Colombian colleague Gustavo Petro that Mexico had accepted the invitation to join as guarantor of the peace talks between the South American country’s administration and the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas.
The two leftwing leaders also agreed that fighting drug trafficking with its current approach and methods had failed. AMLO and Petro also pledged to convene an international summit with the objective of redesigning and rethinking drug policy, according to a statement from Mexico’s presidency.
They also discussed the coincidences of their governments and their conviction to work together for peace in the region, the document also pointed out.
”Mexico accepts the invitation to be a guarantor country at the Dialogue Table between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the statement said.
The Colombian government and the ELN also invited the United States to join the peace negotiations resumed in Caracas earlier this week after being suspended in 2019 by then-President Iván Duque after an attack against a police school that left 22 people dead.
Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president and also a former guerrilla, reactivated contacts with the ELN upon taking office on August 7. The ELN is the last recognized guerrilla group in Colombia. It was founded in 1964 by trade unionists and students sympathetic to Ernesto Che” Guevara and the Cuban revolution.
Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer and the United States is its main buyer, while Mexico is home to some of the deadliest drug cartels worldwide. Mexico has recorded over 340,000 murders from criminal organizations since 2006.