The reason why the National Government did not attend an event in Stockholm to talk about the ELN

Security in the country has been strongly affected at the beginning of 2022 by the attacks and armed actions of the Eln, the group has not stopped since January 1 when it murdered more than 27 people in Arauca, then attempted against the life of 15 police officers in Cali and Arauca have not stopped doing patrols that have caused the displacement of several families and terror in the area.

With these actions it became clear that neither the Government nor the guerrilla group intends to sit down at a table to negotiate a possible agreement, however, On January 17, some rumors arose that the High Commissioner for Peace, Juan Camilo Restrepo Gómez, would travel to Sweden to a discreetly managed meeting to make a supposed installation of an exploratory table with the ELN abroad.

In the end, Restrepo never made it to Stockholm, at a time when tensions with the armed group increased more and more. After trying to make the trip, Restrepo and his advisers finally never reached the European country.

Due to the flow of news and rumors in this regard, the newspaper El Tiempo contacted the office of the high commissioner to clarify the facts and it confirmed that the government has no intention of sitting down with the guerrillas because they have not shown signs of peace. The office clarified that there was a space in Stockholm to talk about agreements and groups, but with another intention that does not go beyond the academic.

He also said that he spoke with President Iván Duque to clarify what he was saying and told him that: “If I was going to appoint myself as counselor of National security, it seemed to me that it was not convenient for me to go there (Sweden) because I had to take on two offices. In addition, it could be done online with the space that was opened in Stockholm”, the official noted and added “President Duque told me that it seemed very good to him. And early Monday morning I contacted the organizers of the meeting and I told them by email that Dr. Rafael Guarín resigned (dated January 15) and I was going to take over his office.”

Regarding what the Government would talk about in this academic space, the representative said that he would ratify his position on the ELN: “Let the Criminal activities. It is understood that the kidnapping, the installation of antipersonnel mines, recruitment, their activity in one of the links in the drug trafficking chain. Because today the ELN is more like a drug cartel than anything else. That was what I was going to say there.”

For now, the situation in Arauca continues to be critical because, despite the efforts of the Army and the Government’s hearings, it has not been possible to stop the chain of violence that has been unleashed by domination of the territory with other armed groups, in this specific case, the dissidence of the FARC.


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