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

MEETING ADVANCE TOWARD THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ENCOUNTER ZONE

Bogot√°, D.C., January 5 , 2001 (ANCOL). - In a new meeting with union and civic leaders from the South of Bolivar and Santander the government will try to advance in the establishment of an encounter zone for the ELN that will allow the initiation of a peace process with this organisation. Camilo Gomez, High Peace Commissioner, and Humberto de la Calle Lombana, Minister of Interior, will participate in the meeting that will soon begin in Bucaramanga. In this meeting the discussion that started last December 26 between President Pastrana and leaders of the region about the developments achieved with the ELN concerning the precise regulation of an Encounter Zone that protects and guarantees the rights of the community will be continued.

"I have the hope to advance, I think there are many positive elements surrounding the process and I look forward to the reunion with a positive viewpoint" said Camilo Gomez.

To the Peace Commissioner "it is important to think that peace must always have opportunities but they must be solidly backed up."

In various occasions the Government has insisted on the urgency of creating a zone where simultaneously to the developing of the National Convention, a negotiation process is installed with the ELN.

"The Encounter Zone will be held to a regulation that allows communities to maintain their tranquillity", added Gomez.

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