WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Securing Peace: Colombia’s ELN Peace Talks

12:30 p.m. Thursday, 14 December 2017
1666 Connecticut Ave N.W., Suite 400 Washington D.C.

AP Photo/Carlos Julio Martinez

You are cordially invited to join WOLA to an event with leading Colombian analysts and experts on the Colombian peace process with the ELN


 Via Skype:

 Abid Manuel Romaña Moreno,
National Coordinator, Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA)
Coordinator for the Inter-Ethnic Chocó Solidarity Forum (FISCH)

Luis Eduardo Celis Méndez,
Advisor, Redprodepaz

Moderated by:

Gimena Sanchez,
Director for the Andes, WOLA

 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
1666 Connecticut Ave N.W., Suite 400

Presentation will be in Spanish with English translation available

While the Colombian government moves forward with the implementation of the peace accords with the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC), the government is also working to secure a peace accord with the National Liberation Army (ELN). Negotiations began in February in Quito, and in September the parties reached an important milestone when the ELN and the Colombian government announced a historic temporary bilateral ceasefire that will end on January 9. This ceasefire is the first of its kind, following multiple failed peace negotiation attempts by prior administrations.

Unfortunately, the peace talks are now in trouble. The ELN has broken the ceasefire on two occasions, most recently killing 13 civilians in Nariño department on November 27. Meanwhile, President Juan Manuel Santos is set to reshuffle the government’s entire negotiating team. Both lead negotiator Juan Camilo Restrepo and advisor General (r) Eduardo Herrera have submitted letters of resignation.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) will convene two leading analysts who will discuss the current status of the negotiations, gradual de-escalation measures needed to secure peace, and most importantly, how the international community can continue to support this peace process.

The event will take place in Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation. We hope you will reserve December 14 on your calendar to join us.

Luis Eduardo Celis Méndez is a Colombian journalist with several years of experience following the internal armed conflict and peacebuilding in Colombia, writes regularly for the Colombian journal, Semana, and the online journal, Las 2 Orillas, and has been a consultant for Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris and Fundación Paz y Reconciliación.

Abid Manuel Romaña Moreno is the the National Coordinator, Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA) and Coordinator for the Inter-Ethnic Chocó Solidarity Forum (FISCH). As Coordinator for FISCH he has traveled to Quito, where talks between the ELN and the Colombian government are taking place. Under his leadership, FISCH is monitoring with the United Nations and the Catholic Church, implementation of the temporary cease-fire in the Department of Choco.

Gimena Sanchez is the Director for the Andes and the leading Colombia human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is an expert on peace and illegal armed groups, internally displaced persons, human rights and ethnic minority rights. Her work has shed light on the situation of Colombia’s more than seven million internally displaced persons—as well as help expose the links between Colombia’s government and drug-funded paramilitaries.