Colombia’s Attorney General Office issued Tuesday a warrant arrest against 21 members of the guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN), including the ELN Chief Negotiator Pablo Beltran, despite his role in the peace talks with the government.
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The alleged charges include forced disappearance, forced displacement and rebellion, according to a communique issued on the Twitter account of the judicial authority.
Four other ELN commanders are subjects to warrant arrests, and nine members have been put under arrest in addition to the 21 sought by Colombian authorities.
Talks between the ELN and the Colombian government started in Feb. 2017 with the support of Ecuador, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, Norway, Venezuela and other countries. In spite of international support, the negotiations were suspended on Jan. 29 after ELN rebels attacked three police stations, causing seven deaths and wounding over 40 persons.
Since then, the Catholic Church, the National Network of Citizen Initiatives for Peace and Against War (Redepaz), and lawmakers have voiced their support for re-establishing the peace talks. However, talks with the ELN and the peace agreement struck with FARC have been used by supporters of former president Alvaro Uribe to attack President Juan Manuel Santos’ government for bowing to rebel pressure.