International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has removed top Colombian Marxist narco rebels from its list of “wanted” people Wednesday after rebels began negotiating with the government.
INTERPOL — which is based in Lyon, France, and made up of 190 member countries — removed narcos from their website at the request of Colombia’s prosecutor general, the equivalent of the U.S. attorney general, to get goodwill from the rebels. The names of top rebel brass were previously posted on INTERPOL’s Red Notice Board due to their involvement in multiple instances of drug trafficking and extortion.
Peace negotiations were officially announced Wednesday in Caracas, Venezuela, by representatives of the Colombian government and Army of National Liberation (ELN) fighters. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hosted the two sides for the announcement of peace talks.
ELN is the second-largest Marxist rebel group in Colombia after the more infamous Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). FARC negotiators are still in peace talks with the Colombian government in Havana, Cuba.
Peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government were meant to end March 23 but had to be extended because there was no agreement on when the rebels would disarm. Secretary of State John Kerry personally met with both sides of the negotiations to try and reach a deal by the deadline, but failed.
Talks between ELN and the Colombian government will take place in “Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela while Norway will have a role as a guarantor country,” says Colombia Reports.
The announcement of peace negotiations between the Marxist narcos and the government are a marked shift from when ELN got its Twitter account suspended for violently imposing a three-day curfew in much of Colombia. Now that talks are underway, the terrorists have set up a website and Twitter account dedicated to the peace talks as of Tuesday. Its first tweet, below, reads, “Follow us!! We will be informing you of the work of the Delegation for the Talks.”
Síganos!! vamos a ir informando del trabajo de la Delegación para los Diálogos pic.twitter.com/kZtnywCWHD
— ELN-Paz (@eln_paz) March 30, 2016
ELN finances its over 50-year-long conflict with the Colombian government in multiple different ways including drug trafficking and working with Mexican cartels.
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