Colombia’s Congress approves negotiations with unlawful armed teams By Reuters

By Luis Jaime Acosta

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s Congress on Wednesday authorised a legislation to permit President Gustavo Petro to hunt peace offers with leftist rebels and prison teams tied to drug trafficking by way of negotiations and processes of give up.

Petro, the nation’s first leftist president, has proposed a technique of “complete peace” to convey Colombia’s inside armed battle of virtually six many years to an finish.

Combating within the Andean nation has left no less than 450,000 useless and hundreds of thousands displaced.

The brand new legislation will allow Petro to start peace talks with guerrilla group the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) and dissident teams from the now-demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who reject a 2016 peace deal.

Petro additionally has the inexperienced mild to start talks with prison teams accused of drug trafficking such because the Clan del Golfo.

“This is step one in direction of the deepening of democracy, solidarity, inclusion, however above all the beginning of definitively turning the web page on the massacre through which we’re nonetheless immersed, of the delay to which the armed battle topics us, which ought to lead us in direction of complete peace, the place life is dignified,” Inside Minister Alfonso Prada (OTC:) advised reporters.

Colombia’s Senate and the Home of Representatives will nonetheless must agree on whether or not younger folks can keep away from army service in alternate for performing actions that additional peace.

The Senate voted to dam the proposal, whereas the Home of Representatives authorised it.

The federal government and the ELN stated this month they are going to reestablish peace talks in November, although they’ve but to announce a begin date or a location.

Petro in August proposed a multilateral ceasefire between armed teams and Colombia’s army whereas peace efforts transfer ahead.

The brand new legislation will permit unlawful armed teams to maneuver to non permanent places the place orders for his or her seize and potential extraditions might be suspended till talks are concluded.

It is going to additionally embrace a provision for a brand new peace fund to ensure social investments in areas affected by violence and the presence of unlawful armed teams.

Each leftist insurgent teams and prison gangs, which collectively depend some 6,000 fighters, are concerned in extortion, homicides, drug trafficking and unlawful gold mining, in accordance with safety sources.

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