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Colombian Guerrilla Claims It Has Right to Kidnap after Suspension of Peace Talks

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Oct 31, 2016, 2:57 pm
Pablo Beltran is one of the heads of the ELN guerrilla (YouTube)
Pablo Beltran, one of the leaders of the ELN, said the group won’t release its hostages (YouTube)

EspañolThe National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) is still in talks with the government about laying down its arms, but recent remarks by the guerilla group have posed a setback.

Member of the ELN Negotiating Team Pablo Beltran said the group has the right to “deprive liberty” from people in the armed conflict in Colombia, meaning the group claims kidnapping is their legal right.

Statements by Pablo Beltran caused trouble for the negotiations to release kidnapped Odin Sanchez, who was “retained” by ELN guerrillas after being traded for his sick brother.

The kidnapping of Sanchez and the refusal to release him prevented the start of negotiations between the government and ELN, which were set to begin on Thursday, October 27 in the city of Quito, Ecuador.

Government officials said they have decided to postpone talks, arguing that ELN has not met its central demand to release all hostages, which ELN members said should not be a requirement of them.

Vice President Francisco Santos said ELN is holding more than just Odin Sanchez. He demanded their immediate release should ELN wish to continue peace talks with the Colombia government.

Source: W Radio

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.