Peace Deal

New peace accord with FARC to be signed in November 2016

El Colombiano reported on 20 November 2016 that the signing of the new peace deal with the FARC rebels could take place in Bogotá on 22 or 23 November. According to President Juan Manuel Santos, the accord will first have to be reviewed by Congress, which will decide what path will be chosen to approve the new deal (El Tiempo). FARC Commander-in-Chief Timoleón "Timochenko" Jiménez told news agency RCN Radio on 20 November that he will be traveling to Bogotá to sign the accord. 

Shootout leaves two FARC soldiers dead

A clash between the Colombian Army and the 37th front of the FARC, left two FARC combatants dead (RCN, 16 November 2016). The firefight took place in the Santa Rosa municipality in the southern region of the Bolivar department, only 68 km from a previous concentration zone used during the 2016 failed peace attempt (Espectador). After the battle, government forces found three firearms, ammunition, a grenade launcher, and a communications radio. In light of the incident, Humberto de la Calle remarked that the cease fire is fragile and the peace process can not afford to be delayed (Espectador). 

Colombia reaches new peace deal with FARC rebels

On 13 November 2016, lead government negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, announced that after nearly two months of negotiations, the peace deal with FARC has once again reached an agreement. While the official document is yet to be released (El Pais), local news agencies El Pais and El Tiempo have reported some of the changes. In total, 56 of the 57 changes proposed by the "No" campaign had an impact over the re-negotiations. For example, the new agreement more strictly defines the zones to which the guerrillas will be restricted as a alternative to jail, the limitation of political participation by former FARC members, the denial of FARC participation in the Protection and Security Commission, and the removal of foreign judges in the penal process.

 

ELN negotiations with the Government slowly move forward

On 7 November 2016, the Ejercito de Liberación Nacional (ELN) announced the release of former Congressman Odín Sánchez is dependent on the Government releasing two rebel prisoners (El Tiempo). Peace talks between Colombia's second largest rebel group have stalled, as the Government refuses to continue talks until Sánchez is released. ELN Commander Nicolás Rodríguez, alias 'Gabino', insisted the Government has neglected its agreements while trying to impose conditions the group has not agreed to (Espectador). Even though negotiations are under way, rural areas still see the effects of the drawn out conflict. Rebel sniper fire claimed the lives of two soldiers in Colombia's eastern department, Norte de Santander on 7 November (El Colombiano). 

Colombia announces plans for ELN negotiations

The Colombian government announced on 24 October 2016 the first phase of negotiations with the ELN will start on 3 November. The estimated 45-day process will be held at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador and will be led by chief government negotiator Juan Camilo Restrepo and Ismael Ramírez Pineda, alias "Pablo Beltrán," representing the ELN (El Nuevo Heraldo). Before the talks begin, Restrepo stated a condition for negotiation is the liberation of former congressman Odín Sánchez Montes de Oca by the ELN. Restrepo said the demand for Odín Sánchez's release is not an attempt to sabotage the peace process, but an extremely important condition that would allow negotiations to start (El Colombiano). While both sides prepare to meet in Ecuador, the fighting continues in Colombia. Two soldiers were injured during a 20 October ELN attack in the eastern Arauca department (El Colombiano).