This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

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Last Updated:6/22/01

GOVERNMENT WILL CONFRONT THREATS TO THE PEACE PROCESS WITH THE ELN: MINISTER OF INTERIORS

Bogotá, D.C., April 2, 2001 (ANCOL). -

Armando Estrada Villa, Minister of Interior, warned today that the Government will confront any threat that intends to stop the initiation of a peace process will the National Liberation Army, ELN, and the creation of the possible Encounter Zone.

"The Colombian State can´t slow down on decisions as important as this one because of threats. This threat has to be confronted. The State, headed by the President, is willing to confront Carlos Castaño," said Estrada Villa.

The Minister of Interior reiterated the fact that the Executive will combat illegal right wing militias till its last consequences and will not allow them to threat the population and the leaders that declare themselves in favor of the Encounter Zone.

"The Government, headed by the President of the Republic, is willing to confront Carlos Castaño with its Public Forces, with the help of the citizenry and above all, with the certainty that we are working for a process that is good for the country." Estrada Villa made this declarations at the conclusion of the third reunion of the Common Peace Front Against Violence in the Nariño Presidential House.

During today´s meeting the Government gave a detailed report of the progress of the processes with the ELN and the Farc.

Concerning the ELN, he said that the national convention is being defined. "This has to be done soon because it's a challenge for the Government, and this way we will give an answer to Castaño," he said.

Concerning the Farc, he said that progress is being made in the issue of a Humanitarian Agreement and that actually all the possibilities are being analyzed so that this agreement is applied with all the current judicial norms and according to International Humanitarian Law. Additionally he said that the fact that the Farc hasn´t liberated Coronel Alvaro Acoste Argote is unbelievable.

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