Peace on the Table: ELN
on the Table
summary of demands and proposals for peace from the various actors in
the Peace Process
DE LIBERACIÓN NACIONAL - ELN (NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY)
I. PROPOSALS FOR A NEGOTIATED POLITICAL SETTLEMENT OF THE INTERNAL
A. Vision of the Conflict
B. The Negotiation
1. Criteria for the Negotiation
2. Clarification of the Negotiation Proposal and Process
3. Purpose of the Negotiation
D. Humanization of the Conflict
1. The Concept of Humanization
2. The Pact for Life
3. The International Fact-finding Commission
4. The Actors in the Conflict
E. Participation of the International Community
II. PROPOSALS REGARDING THE ESSENTIAL TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED ON
THE NEGOTIATION AGENDA
B. The ELN Vision regarding the Essential Topics for a Possible Negotiation
1. Political Participation
The People's Power and the New Government
b. The National Convention
2. Socioeconomic Aspects
3. The Agrarian Issue
5. National Sovereignty
6. The Armed Forces
7. Environment and Ecology
8. Native Indigenous and Black Communities
9. National Identity
10. Drug Trafficking
11. Foreign Policy and Continentalism
13. Urban Reform
DE LIBERACIÓN NACIONAL - ELN
(NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY)
PROPOSALS FOR A NEGOTIATED POLITICAL SETTLEMENT OF THE INTERNAL ARMED
Vision of the Conflict
it seems paradoxical, war, with all its cruelties and pain, is the only
possible balm that can rupture the reign of terror held by the powerful
over the weak. However, war, revolutionary war that is, has a political,
humane dimension which seeks to rebuild the dreams and hopes of millions
of men and women who have been disfavored, excluded, and downtrodden by
a sociopolitical network imposed by those who hold the political and economic
power. Thus, a paradoxical relationship between war and peace rises from
the ashes; they are complements, they are derivatives one of the other,
they are both part of a historic course that, instead of opposing them,
ties them together, joins them, links them. The interrelationship between
the two is well illustrated by our philosophy, because we make war to
conquer peace with social justice". 5
the documents in which the ELN makes a general exposition of the various
aspects relating to a possible political negotiation of the conflict are
Criteria for the Negotiation
phases shall be developed using the following minimum criteria as a foundation:
ELN shall act according to the provisions defined in the Segundo
Congreso de la Unión Camilo Torresa Ejército de Liberación Nacional
- UCELN (Second Camilo Torres Union National Liberation Army Congress)
and to the conclusions drawn in the Second and Third National Meets
and in the National Directorate Plenaries.
Coordinadora Guerrillera Simón BolÍvar - CGSB (Simón Bolívar
Guerrilla Movement Coordinating Body), in its capacity as representative
of all of the various guerrilla movements, shall broach the dialogues
and the negotiation.
negotiation shall be open to the people.
negotiation shall be held within our country. We do not discard the
possibility that at some moment within the process some undertaking
of interest to the parties may be carried out outside of our country.
negotiation shall be trilateral. Although it is true that there are
two actors in the armed conflict - the State and the insurgency-, the
so-called "civilian society" plays an important role as a
third voice in the conflict. It has an enormous potential as mobilizing
force, due to its intellectual capacity and political adherence to one
or the other of the actors in the conflict. This makes the participation
of this "civilian society" indispensable in the deliberations,
specially those to be carried out in the various regions. It is also
essential for the civilian society to guarantee all agreements once
they have been reached.
negotiation shall have International Accompaniment in the guise of the
INTERNATIONAL PEACE PROTECTION INSTITUTE
negotiation process shall take place in the midst of armed confrontation.
Acts of war shall not distract the process nor shall it require cease
fires in order to be developed.
negotiation shall follow the principle of bilateralism. Every agreement
shall be equally binding on both parties and no unilateral acts by one
of the parties shall be accepted.
negotiation shall not require prior conditions. Neither of the parties
shall attempt to gain advantage over the other by establishing prior
conditions as pre-requisites, either at the initiation of the dialogues
or during same.
negotiation shall provide equal dissemination opportunities. Both parties
shall have the same opportunities and rights to inform both the National
opinion and international opinion on the developments arising within
the process. A bilateral agreement shall be required for media handling
and such agreement shall stipulate an ethic of objectivity, veracity
and mutual respect.
negotiation shall require prior guarantees. The State is bound to grant
the guarantees which the insurgency may require for the peace process
in the midst of war. There shall be various guarantees including one
for fair communication, one for guaranteeing the relationship with the
so-called civilian society, one for collectivization and internal consulting,
one for security, one for free access to the press media and to public
Clarification of the Negotiation Proposal and Process
In the published
conclusions of the "Second Camilo Torres Union National Liberation
Army", held in 1990, the following clarification is furnished regarding
the negotiation proposal and process suggested by the ELN.7
negotiation proposal has two parts. "The first part is aimed at seeking
a global solution to the conflict. The second part is aimed at seeking
solutions to some aspects of the conflict, to a specific problem within
the country; it is what we call partial negotiation".
ELN defines the first part, that is global negotiation, as follows:
"To form a new Government with democratic participation, the people's
participation, and revolutionary participation.
To put an end to the current official army and form a new people's army
that shall ensure sovereignty and that shall deal with corruption in
its ranks. This new army shall be willing to create a relationship of
collaboration with the civilian population, not one of repression and
To put into practice a program seeking democracy, sovereignty, life
with dignity and the greatest well-being for the National majorities.
To adopt an international policy which shall free our country from the
ties of dependency currently maintained with the United States and which
shall establish relationships based on equality with all of the countries
around the world, specially the Latin American ones. To develop an attitude
of non-alignment and of support to all causes that seek progress, independence
and the well-being of the peoples.
second part, that is partial negotiation, is defined by the ELN as follows:
"To seek the negotiation of a pact for life whose fundamental raison
d'être is the humanization of war.
To seek agreements which shall lead us to Nationalizing our natural
resources, specially oil.
To negotiate these aspects or others that may arise does not imply a
political solution to the conflict; they are aimed at satisfying heart-felt
claims of the people and the Nation".
Purpose of the Negotiation
Pérez, the most important aspect of negotiation was its purpose:
issue of first importance in the final objective of the negotiation is
not whether there is a surrender of arms or not, but is solving the problems
which have caused us to take up arms in the first place.
... we have
to stop thinking so much about the preparation for the dialogues and start
thinking about their ends.
shall leave the negotiation table. They shall remain out of respect, out
of the commitment to continue with the negotiations. Nonetheless, the
availability of permanent consulting and the mechanisms to do so must
has always been considered in terms of subjugation, and virtually, surrender.
... to really
affect the conflict, a negotiation must be geared to solving its causes,
not its consequences. The consequences shall be solved as the causes are
the causes are being adjusted, it becomes evident that political changes
must be made, then an analysis must be made as to how to do so...
of the conflict that we are now subjected to have deep-rooted historic
origins. These causes shall have to be recognized, identified and analyzed
to see how to solve them.
itself shall indicate the path to take. With the participation of the
various social forces, the insurgency forces, and the civilian society
as a whole, topics will be broached as they arise. The discussion itself
shall enable its participants to find the authentic answers to how to
run the country so as to solve our problems.
has said these dialogues must be useful, we say that they must be fair
and well-balanced and that they must guarantee the search for justice
and problem solving". 8
February 1998, in the latest document published by the ELN, it makes the
consider that demobilizing the insurgency is not the starting point from
which a political solution can be built. Such political solution must
be constructed using the direct participation of social and political
organizations, taking advantage of the creativity of those who suffer
of being excluded from this anti-democratic, antiquated system.
is not a monopoly of the Government nor of the dominant classes. Seeking
a political solution, the processes of demobilization and surrender of
arms have already been exhausted in this country. That model is now impossible
for us and the other forces forming part of the Simon Bolivar Guerrilla
Movement Coordinating Body to even consider. To our compatriots, we state
very clearly that there is no possibility at all along those lines".
"Productive dialogues can only exist within a framework of a
global negotiation or by recognizing that a National dialogue is the guiding
light for the regional dialogue, and that such regional dialogue is essential
to make the National dialogue well-known. They shall occur simultaneously
but the regional dialogues shall follow the terms of the National dialogue.
Along those lines, regional dialogues would make sense". 10
of the Dialogues
"It is not important to determine whether the dialogues are held
in the country or abroad. What is, are the criteria to be used: security,
and the people's participation in a public manner". 11
course for us it would be ideal to have the dialogues here, because the
conflict takes place here and because we believe that all of us Colombians
are participants in this conflict. Also because the problems that we are
going to broach are social problems that have to do with the people's
work, education, health, housing, economic problems, living conditions.
They also have to do with development conditions for the country, the
distribution of wealth, political conditions for how to make our democracy
a living element, and the right of the majorities to participate in decision-
making. We truly hope that this dialogue shall take place, respecting
the position of each and every one and not buying anyone's opinion with
of the Dialogues
"The Government has proposed dialogues closed to the public,
but we do not agree. The country must follow the negotiations in order
to have greater participation, because all of the Colombians are interested
in peace". 13
Humanization of the Conflict
The Concept of Humanization
to the ELN classification, the negotiations of a partial nature include
a pact for life whose fundamental principle is the humanization of war.
We include below a series of declarations, made by various members of
this guerrilla group, that illustrate this idea in a general manner.
1985 the ELN has proposed that the HUMANIZATION OF WAR be covered in a
pact or treaty between the contending actors and that such pact or treaty
should regulate the use of force and protect innocent bystanders from
the rigors of war during armed conflict.
HUMANIZATION OF WAR in itself is a starting point in seeking paths toward
the political settlement of the conflict and shall enable building the
basic trust and the political and material conditions needed in the heart
of the State, the insurgency, the "Civilian Society" and the
international community in order to build stable, lasting peace in our
believe that, during the war and until paths toward peace are built as
a political solution to the conflict, it is necessary for the insurgency
and the Government to reach ad-hoc agreements. These agreements shall
take into account what we have called the HUMANIZATION OF THE CONFLICT
in order to achieve a PACT FOR LIFE. In this PACT FOR LIFE the civilian
population is really protected, through which International Humanitarian
Law can be applied, and Protocol II is also a ruling legal element to
be respected by the parties in conflict. Nevertheless, the PACT FOR LIFE
necessarily implies complying to International Law by respecting the international
rules which apply to our conflict in particular and to the concrete conditions
in our country". 15
do not believe that International Humanitarian Law should be part of a
negotiation. It must be the essence of a State's legislation...
for the conflict, IHL and the Protocols are not sufficient. They work
toward humanizing the confrontation, not settling it...If, when at war,
the most complex of situations, we have the quality and capacity to understand
and humanize, we shall have the capacity to start a process...At this
time, we believe that a valid path to lead us to peace is for us to establish
an agreement for the REGULARIZATION of the conflict".16
need to humanize the conflict cannot wait for the belated, incomplete
answers offered by International Humanitarian Law. Although it is important
to use it as a reference, we must go beyond that point, marching along
a path well known and even recommended by Humanitarian Law itself. It
is the path that leads to special or specific agreements between the confronted
parties, agreements that adjust to war's own needs and to its particular
objectives of the treaty that we propose to enter into are to safeguard
the civilian population not involved in the hostilities from the rigors
of war, to identify the actors in the conflict, to agree upon rules to
regulate the use of force and bilaterally limit the use of arms. This
treaty shall lead us to seeking peace with dignity and social justice".
THE PACT FOR LIFE
"THE PACT FOR LIFE that we propose has the following objectives:
1. To protect
the population not involved in the hostilities from the rigors of war.
2. To ensure
that prisoners and detainees are treated humanely and that their dignity
3. To guarantee
that people are not killed for thinking differently and that it be possible
in Colombia to build an alternative opposition.
4. To ensure
that people's organizing and social protest do not become criminal offenses.
5. To guarantee
that persons displaced by war and those exiled can return to their hometowns
and be covered by a special State Program to repair damages to them and
to give them compensation for their suffering.
6. To shed
light on all war crimes and crimes against humanity.
7. To ensure
that there is fair justice for the intellectual and material authors of
these crimes and that their victims be morally, economically and socially
indemnified as well as their families and their communities for the damage
8. To dismantle
paramilitary groups and clearly identify the actors in the conflict.
9. To exercise
strict control on the use of force.
10. To limit
the use of determined weapons and methods of combat.
11. To respect,
preserve and abide by HUMAN RIGHTS in a total manner so that they be applied
throughout the National territory, not only in confrontation zones.
FOR THE HUMANIZATION OF WAR shall be applied throughout the National territory,
not only in confrontation zones.
provisions of this Agreement a reality and applying them in a continuous,
sustained manner requires monitoring and overseeing by an INTERNATIONAL
PEACE PROTECTION INSTITUTE. In order to perform its labor, this institute
shall need to locate, throughout the National territory and in the confrontation
zones, a great number of experienced, international officials who shall
ensure that the parties effectively apply the provisions of this Agreement.
is a political-military organization which has been up in arms during
the past 31 years. Its political-ideological beliefs espouse the most
noble ideals for the Colombian people. Since its very beginnings, it has
brought itself as well as its men and women up to follow a humanist ethic
with a great revolutionary ideal.
armed struggle to take over the power for the people and by the people
has been disseminated throughout most of the country by using methods
of political and military control in vast areas thus creating embryos
of power for the people.
It is a
structured National organization with a central command, with its own
cultural forms, among them its symbols.
reason the UCELN has all of the characteristics and conditions needed
for it to agree to, sustain, and apply a HUMANITARIAN AGREEMENT.
legal framework the UCELN has a CODE OF WAR that regulates the use of
force. Among its rules we state the following:
commanders shall avoid sacking and pillage.
to civilian goods and facilities shall be avoided and, if it should
occur, all possible repairs shall be made.
participating in paramilitary groups as well as their goods shall no
longer be considered civilian population and goods.
under 15 years of age shall not be incorporated into the Permanent Military
or wounding an adversary who surrenders or who is unable to fight is
to the environment shall be avoided to the extent possible during sabotages.
· No facilities
containing harmful forces such as waters in dams or nuclear material
shall be attacked.
of the organization who violate the Code of War shall undergo exhaustive
of the guerrilla found guilty of any of the above shall be severely
we incorporate into the Code of War six recommendations that INTERNATIONAL
AMNESTY formulated for the Insurgency Movement when it made its report
on Colombia in 1994. These recommendations are:
· To treat
humanely prisoners, the wounded, and those trying to surrender, whether
they be civilians or members of the Armed Forces. Under no circumstance
shall their lives be taken.
deliberate and arbitrary homicide of non combatants is prohibited under
captured shall not be used as hostages. Detainees shall be identified
and they shall be released safe and sound.
shall not be used to deliberately kill or mutilate civilians.
allegedly committed by guerrilla members shall be investigated in order
to determine responsibilities.
members suspected of having committed or ordered abuses shall be relieved
of any authority and of any service which would place them in a position
to commit abuses again". 19
The International Fact-finding Commission
has publicly stated its willingness to submit itself to an investigation
by the International Fact-finding Commission concerning compliance to
International Humanitarian Law. The Fact-finding Commission is a body
created by virtue of Article 90 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva
Conventions. Its competence must be recognized by the parties involved
in a conflict for it to investigate possible violations to International
Humanitarian Law. This body was originally designed to function in situations
of international armed conflicts; however, by extension, it now also operates
in non-international armed conflict situations such as the one in Colombia
16, 1995, the ELN Central Command, referring to an explosion in the San
Antonio park in Medellín where persons belonging to the civilian population
that, for once and for all, we begin to protect the civilian population,
detain the dirty war, and put a halt to impunity, we propose that, by
mutual agreement between the Government and the insurgency, we request
that the International Fact-finding Commission (Article 90 in Additional
Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions) investigate this occurrence and
indicate those responsible".
The Actors in the Conflict
ELN has defined those that it considers to be its adversary.
hereby define who are our adversaries so that we can then deduce who shall
be protected from the hostilities.
Participants in the Counterinsurgency War:
State Forces: Officers and troops, intelligence organizations and agents,
National and foreign military advisors, foreign troops intervening in
the internal conflict.
Para-State Forces: The paramilitary, private security groups, private
Agents of the Dirty War: Drug traffickers engaged in the counterinsurgency
war; irregular terror corps connected with the State's armed forces; hired
killers; those responsible for forced disappearances; torturers; massacrers;
threateners; those who force people to flee from their territory; and
all those whose hostile action is targeted against the revolutionary social
base, the people organizing for political purposes and protesting, and
Financiers: Those who, by paying the war tax or through economic support
or by supporting the infrastructure, contribute to sustaining the counterinsurgency
Ideologists, politicians, communication media workers, advisors and technicians
who encourage the counterinsurgency war.
Arms manufacturers and merchants who supply to enemy forces.
Participation of the International Community
of its published documents, the ELN has proposed constituting an International
Peace Protection Institute.
protection institute that we propose is a political figure arising from
the need to "protect" the process, but not the country. It shall
depend on the good will and good offices of the Governments of friendly
countries and of international non-Governmental institutions of a humanitarian
nature accredited worldwide". 21
PROPOSALS REGARDING THE ESSENTIAL TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED ON THE NEGOTIATION
public documents and internal circulation documents, the ELN has expressed
a series of ideas on the topics which, in this group's opinion, are fundamental
for discussion at a possible negotiation table. A synthesis of these ideas
is given below.
is not a problem of public order, nor is it simply the absence of war,
but it is a problem of social justice, sovereignty and National security".
highest objective is to seek peace. We hope that, in doing so, this shall
be the last war. We do not believe that we must go from one negotiation
to another until the final war; that is what has been done up to now.
We have had six negotiations so far and not in one has the basic problem
been attacked. Because if we had done so, why would we still be up in
believe that there is no expeditious political expression that can satisfy
the authentic claims which gave rise to this struggle, except confrontation".
speak of a more humanitarian society, one that is more just, one with
an economy able to ensure that the majorities may benefit from the distribution
of wealth within this country. We want one that is fair, equalitarian,
and humane where the population's social rights are respected, and, as
a consequence, the humane person is the center of development. Taking
all of the above into consideration, we believe that each one of those
criteria must become concrete and must be built, precisely by all the
social sectors that participate in building the society. We believe that
this is the starting point to guarantee a democracy that attends the claims
of all of the sectors of the population. For that reason, we wish to establish
a social, economic, political framework, one which, of course, shall guarantee
our sovereignty. With that as a starting point, we shall build a fair,
equalitarian, democratic society". 24
the ELN, "the peace policy that the country needs must include the
MUST BE THE ENTIRE STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY, in the sense that not only
the traditional public powers be committed, but that Article 22 of the
National Constitution be obeyed: peace is a duty and a right of mandatory
MUST BE NATIONAL, in the sense that there be participation of all social
sectors, all power factions and all trends of thought.
MUST BE PERMANENT, in the sense that it must have a strategy for peace
that enables transcending immediate situations, current Governments and
personal interests that are not concerned with the well-being of Colombia
and its people".25
The ELN Vision regarding the Essential Topics for a Possible Negotiation
a. The People's
Power and the New Government
ELN, "the people's full performance of its democratic power shall
be the guiding principle for building the new Colombian society. By stimulating
the initiative of all Colombians and collectivizing their freely-made
decisions, our democracy shall ensure its authentic socialist future".
to that philosophy, the National Liberation Army proposes "Destroying
the Bourgeois State and building a State founded on the people led by
the working class exercising their democratic rights, and also, forming
a Democratic Revolutionary People's Government made up of the political
and social forces that participate in destroying the old State".
the document "A New Government for the Majority" the ELN National
Directorate states, "The moment has come; it is urgent, it is imperious
that we form a new Government of the majorities, a Government that is
democratic, Nationalist, sovereign and morally transparent...
assured that you can count on our decided, enthusiastic support for: moral
restoration; the creation of an economy of the majorities; the construction
of an active, energizing democracy; the population's social well-being
and the defense of sovereignty...
shall contribute to winning peace with social justice. Thereafter, the
guarantee of life shall begin to solidify by building a sociopolitical
program, in which the society as a whole shall participate as well as
the armed insurgency and the new Government.
a political solution is not an issue to be discussed with the insurgency,
but with the ruling classes. The present crisis in our country demands
a political solution, but a solution in which the interlocutors should
be the governing class, the traditional parties, and the Nation as whole".28
the III National Liberation Army of Colombia Congress held in July, 1996,
in which the Minimum Program for Colombia Today and for a New Government
was approved, the ELN affirmed that it still considers effective the "Twelve
Proposals by the Simón Bolívar Guerrilla Movement Coordinating Body for
Building a Peace Policy", proposal submitted on January 25th, 1992
to the National Congress functioning at that time. It further stated that
the CGSB proposal for forming a democratic popular Government, submitted
in November 1992, is also considered effective by the ELN.
the same congress there was great insistence on forming a new People's
Government of a democratic nature, with the participation of the social
and people's organizations, of the various political organizations and
parties, and of other living forces in the country. In this new Government,
prominent leadership shall be held by the revolutionary forces. It shall
be a Government for peace, for National dignity, for social justice and
b. The National
Camilo Torres Union National Liberation Army summons the entire Nation
to a NATIONAL CONVENTION for the purpose of seeking a believable solution
to the present political crisis and to the Government that now exists
in Colombia. This Convention shall define the new references for governing
during the present situation of crisis and instability. It shall also
concrete the procedures needed to form a new, broadly participative Government
whose main labor shall be to establish a new legitimacy enabling such
Government to overcome the current crisis. The new Government shall lead
the country along the path to democracy, social justice and development.
This new Government shall face and solve the problems that have always
been postponed on the agenda of the former Governments and its main concern
shall be the well-being of all Colombians".30
want to generate a dynamic process for dialoguing with the Nation, without
intermediaries of any kind, in order to rip off the gags that the press,
the radio and television have placed on the insurgency's opinions and
ideas. How they have treated us and misrepresented us is unbelievable.
We shall shape this great National meeting which we call NATIONAL CONVENTION
by talking with the political movements and parties, with the social organizations,
the trade unions, the Church, the National Reconciliation Commission,
with the professional associations, and with important figures.
NATIONAL CONVENTION must examine and make viable the CGSB proposal to
summon a NATIONAL CONSTITUTION DRAFTING ASSEMBLY which shall be a true
peace treaty for all Colombians. A NATIONAL CONSTITUTION DRAFTING ASSEMBLY
shall head us towards a new Government that shall espouse and put into
practice the 12 proposals formulated by the CGSB for the Colombia that
also consider it important, during the NATIONAL CONVENTION process, to
initiate a political treatment for the border conflict with Venezuela.
The ELN shall work towards that, as of this moment".31
we have transcribed the text of the pre-agreement signed by the National
Government and the ELN on February 9th, 1998 in Madrid, Spain. The bases
for the summons to the National Convention for Peace, Democracy and Social
Justice are set herein.
Entered into at the Viana Palace
we are aware that the solution to the armed social political conflict
in Colombia requires a broad process of dialogue and joint action involving
all of the sectors of the Colombian society in order to lay the foundations
for transformations within this country as well as transformations of
its institutions for the purpose of attaining peace with democracy and
social justice, the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army
(ELN) with the participation of the Comisión de Conciliación Nacional
- CCN (National Reconciliation Commission) and thanks to the good offices
granted by the Government of Spain, agree upon the following:
a National Convention for Peace, Democracy and Social Justice whose purpose
shall be to structure an agreement to be developed in all legislative
bodies and all possibly indispensable spaces, even if that requires summoning
a National Constitution Making Assembly, as the insurgency has been proposing
or calling for a referendum thus encouraging the broad democratic participation
of all Colombians.
the National Convention after a preparatory meeting to be held on the
6th and 7th of June of this year at a location in the Colombian territory
to be previously defined by the parties. This meeting shall have the following
The Government and the ELN shall participate with three (3) delegates
each. Their decisions shall be made by consensus.
The CCN shall participate with three (3) representatives. Their mission
shall be to serve as facilitators for the dialogue and joint action.
Delegates shall be invited as witnesses. These delegates shall be: one
(1) delegate from the Government of Spain, one (1) delegate for each
one of the Presidential candidates in the second round of the Presidential
elections -if the case should be -, one (1) delegate for the President
Elect and one (1) delegate for the party that received the second highest
number of votes during the elections, the President of the National
Congress, the President of Central Unitaria de Trabajadores - CUT (United
Association of Workers' Trade Unions), the President of Unión Sindical
Obrera - USO (United Laborers' Trade Union), one (1) delegate for the
Council of Entrepreneurs, one (1) representative for the non-governmental
organizations in charge of the defense of Human Rights, one (1) representative
for the Mandate for Peace and one (1) representative for the Communist
The preparatory meeting sessions shall be reserved and the decisions
made therein shall be made known to the public opinion through communiqués
agreed upon mutually by the parties.
The Government and the ELN shall ensure the participants to this meeting
all necessary security, employing the same procedure as the one used
in Santana, Antioquia, on November 2nd, 1997. The Government shall grant
necessary guarantees for transportation and negotiation.
The preparatory meeting shall determine the parameters and logistics
for the National Convention such as:
Defining the bases for transforming the social and political structures,
through a joint action that shall take into account: the full application
of Human Rights; social justice and economy; political democratization;
the definition of the role of the Armed Forces in a country at peace;
and sovereignty, integration and international ization; to name a few.
Establishing the participants in the National Convention who shall not
be more than 100 persons representing economic, political and social
The date and venue for holding the National Convention. It must take
place after the second round of the Presidential election.
Methodological aspects of the National Convention.
Other elements essential for the National Convention.
In addition to seeking settlement to the political and social conflict,
at the same time complementary aspects to develop the process leading
to the termination of the armed confrontation shall be determined.
the period of time that this armed confrontation persists, the parties
shall agree upon a pact for life and humanization of the war in the framework
of International Humanitarian Law. This pact shall also safeguard the
The dialogue process for seeking a political settlement shall be considered
initiated as of the signing of this pre-agreement. Its ratification shall
additionally enjoy the accompaniment of the international community, in
principle from Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica and Venezuela. The Government
of Spain shall perform the duties of process facilitator, agent of good
offices and host, whenever necessary. This accompaniment group may be
broadened by agreement between the parties.
international accompaniment must follow the principles of neutrality,
impartiality and discretion.
This agreement must be ratified by the ELN in various meetings to be held
in Itagüí with Commanders Francisco Galán and Felipe Torres and with Comando
Central - Coce (Central Command) representatives at the site determined
for that purpose. The same representatives of the Government and of the
CCN who sign this act shall be the representatives who shall attend those
meetings. This agreement shall also be ratified by the President of the
The Government of Colombia, the ELN and the CCN wish to thank the Government
of Spain for its collaboration and hospitality which enabled reaching
the point of this pre-agreement accord: we also thank the Government of
Spain for its friendliness towards the Colombian people.
act is signed at the Viana Palace, in the city of Madrid, Spain, on February
9th, 1998, by the Government of Colombia represented by José Noé Ríos
and Daniel García, by the ELN Central Command and Directorate represented
by Milton Hernández in charge of the International Front and by Juan Vásquez
member of the International Front, by the CCN represented by Augusto Ramírez
Ocampo and Ana Mercedes Gómez. Witnesses for the Government of Spain are
Fernando M. Villalonga, Secretary of State for International Cooperation
and for Ibero-America and Eduardo Gutiérrez Sáenz de Buruaga, General
Director of Foreign Policy for Ibero-America".
agree upon an economic policy whose axes shall be: our country's interests,
not those of the United States and multinational companies; fair distribution
of wealth; and improvement of living standards for the poorest, disfavored
· To seek
growth without sacrificing the workers' employment and income; to increase
wealth, but not for the benefit of only a few; to ensure economic development
in terms of the well-being of the majorities.
· To seek
sustainable development, which we believe in, to allow new advances, giving
us new conditions to accede to higher technological and scientific levels
which, with time, shall enable us to exploit our own resources.
· To also
apply a policy for National exploitation of our natural resources tailored
to our interests and needs, maintaining reserves to guarantee better exploitation.
· To respect
and protect small and medium-sized industrial properties, craft industries,
and mining properties, by developing an incentive policy that shall respond
to the interest shown in the National Development Plan.
· To establish
and combine different forms of private, State, collective, community,
and joint property. Self-management processes shall be stimulated, specially
promoting from the State the construction of a popular economy pole which
is the future of a true economic democracy.
· The properties
owned by multinational companies and the large monopolies shall be confiscated
or shall be negotiated with their owners, depending on the behavior that
such companies adopt regarding the people's struggle and the aspirations
to change that our people have. It will also depend on their behavior
toward the New Government and the economic and political proposals of
our New Colombia.
· At any
rate, the monopolies shall be limited and controlled as well as all foreign
investment. They shall be submitted to the parameters of the National
development, favoring business and industrial competitiveness without
detriment to small and medium-sized businesses".32
proposes the following points as general guidelines for a social welfare
work towards significantly increasing social expenditure and towards
improving the coverage and quality of basic services: electricity, water,
sewerage, housing, health, education, and massive access to culture,
sports and recreation.
· To establish
a National health system that shall train and allocate human resources
with a revolutionary ethic and the highest scientific quality possible
to attend the people throughout the National territory.
· To carry
out, with the participation of our workers and students in education,
art and culture, a National education system that shall eliminate illiteracy,
encourage the socialization of knowledge and equip the people with a
critical mentality that shall be of benefit to all the transformations
that the society requires.
· To make
special efforts to change and improve the critical situations which,
at this time, the poorest people in the city and in the rural zones
are suffering. Also, to make the living conditions of our senior citizens
and our children, and the rehabilitation of the disabled and victims
of the war a main concern".33
The Agrarian Issue
synthesizes its "policy for the rural zones" by indicating the
· An agrarian
reform shall be carried out that shall distribute to the peasants without
land the properties, held by land owners, drug traffickers and large landed
estate owners. A new credit policy shall be developed which shall very
specially cater to the poor and low-income peasants, stimulating models
of cooperatives, community associations, and methods of profitability.
Marketing systems shall be organized that eliminate intermediaries, lower
costs and prices, and offer assistance to help improve productivity and
· A National
food industry shall be encouraged to solve internal consumption needs.
Simultaneously, commercial relations shall be sought in the international
and medium-sized farming and agricultural product businesses shall be
supported, and generally speaking, non-monopoly businesses that contribute
to the economic proposals of the New Government. These businesses must
operate within the framework of renewed salary parameters, regional planning
joint action plans, redistribution of profits, and new aspects regarding
families who were forced to flee from their territory due to the war shall
be guaranteed the possibility of returning to their lands and resources
shall be allocated to help them improve their situation, to the extent
in Colombia has become an instrument of the counterinsurgency war; it
inhibits and persecutes the right to rebel and the right to political
opposition and makes the act of the people organizing politically and
protesting a criminal offense. It undermines social integrity and National
unity, because paying rewards in exchange for information turns man into
his own worst enemy.
· The public
order legislation (regional justice) uses veiled prosecutors and judges,
hidden witnesses, secret indisputable evidence, and intelligence reports
for evidence in court. It accepts sentencing without proper trial, penalizing
political offenses, increase of sentence for political offenses, and violates
the right to defense. This justice is determined using anti-Communist
different times, international courts, Human Rights committees, and humanitarian
NGOs have condemned this secret justice and have invited the Colombian
Government to repeal it. Along the same lines, the Brussels Manifesto
for Human Rights for Colombia was promulgated; we adhere to this manifesto.
It states the following on this topic: repealing regional jurisdictions
(secret justice) and adopting a new judicial reform shall ensure the judges'
independence and guarantee the parties' rights".36
OF JUSTICE. The humanization of justice shall entail a deep-rooted judicial
reform that shall repeal the military special jurisdiction, allow preserving
parties' rights, and make all men equal before the law. It also shall
combat impunity in all of its expressions. VEILED JUSTICE shall be immediately
repealed and ordinary justice shall be strengthened; this shall thus create
a public system of proceedings in open courts, a justice recovering the
use of conscientious judges, witness confrontation and the right to defense.
THIS reform shall review and build a penitentiary system aimed at rehabilitating
its prisoners through work and education and by respecting their dignity.
THIS justice shall be equal for all; it shall not privilege the oligarchy
with all kinds of guarantees and rights while it denies the populace,
the people, their minimum guarantees". 37
power entities shall be built that shall ensure the end of impunity, promote
citizen coexistence, and punish the corrupt and those who commit crimes
against humanity. May the exercise and application of a just implementation
of the law operate, based on procedural law and adjective law guarantees,
when judging offenses against the society, and, may this new law be the
foundation for the New Constitution".38
shall start using a patriotic behavior of sovereignty, National self-determination
and independence regarding the United States, other imperialists and transnational
companies, thus developing our own concept of National sovereignty.
relationships, multinational companies' sacking, and the oligarchic subordination
to the economic and political interests of the masters from the North
have been the main obstacles hindering our development.
new relations with foreign capital and new conditions for multinational
company investment and natural resource exploitation shall be established.
Foreign investment shall be accepted, provided that it transfers technology,
leaves us resources and takes economic and social development priorities
relationship of subordination to IMF impositions shall be reorganized.
The foreign debt shall be re-negotiated, it shall be declared in moratorium,
and a new framework for a new relationship with international banking
shall be established. Treaties which are harmful to the New Nation shall
be eliminated and border treaties shall be respected within the framework
of International Law".39
The Armed Forces
shall organize a new army using the insurgency forces as a base. New police
forces and security forces shall also be organized. War criminals shall
be punished. A patriotic army shall be formed, ruled by the postulates
of the New Government, ruled by internationalism, independent from the
United States and guided by the new political realities which shall be
established upon taking the State power away from a reduced handful of
persons, the oligarchy. This new army and these new security forces shall
be guided by their respect for Human Rights and by the population's fair
right to make claims and protest".40
Environment and Ecology
shall foster scientific-technical development and advances in the various
fields that take into account the balance that man needs with nature and
the preservation of the environment, as a heritage of humanity.
are in favor of the preservation of animal and vegetable species which
guarantees their rational use and their survival.
biodiversity shall be part of our sovereignty and it shall be used rationally.
shall demand, before the international community, that the transnational
companies pay for and repair damages to our ecosystem caused by the irrational
exploitation of our raw materials.
shall make scientific-technical efforts to eliminate waste in order to
avoid damage to the environment and to ecology".41
Native Indigenous and Black Communities
native Indigenous communities' rights to their culture, territory, autonomy
and authority shall become a reality and we shall encourage their social,
economic and cultural development.
shall recognize and encourage the claims made by the Colombian black communities
struggling to rescue their culture, to have their territories recognized
as joint property, to recover their respect and value as an ethnic group,
and to eliminate their being discriminated because of their color."
order to strengthen building our National identity and unity, a task that
the Dominating Block could not achieve, we need to build a new democratic
trend of thought for the people, one that shall acquire the understanding
and develop the will that we need to be able to assume commitments for
ideological project plan shall be implemented which shall carry out educational,
cultural and communication actions aimed at the people in terms of those
National proposals. This project shall be based on rescuing community
progressive values and practices. These practices shall be developed by
the Colombian people keeping in mind their Latin American cultural roots
project claims the right to free expression and to freedom of belief.
It also takes cultural diversity into account.
we propose to give free rein to individual initiatives and initiatives
made by the various social groups in building our New Colombia into something
to be emulated".43
the framework of our policy regarding this phenomenon, we shall handle
this problem autonomously and sovereignly and we shall fight the drug
trafficking business throughout the National territory. We shall seek
a global agreement with the international community for it to take effective
control measures against consumption and against the mafias who process
and commercialize narcotics within their territory. We shall not permit
extradition of our Nationals.
shall reject any imposition or interference by the Government of the United
States and we shall demand reciprocal efforts to our National efforts.
order to eradicate illicit crops and substitute them with licit crops,
we shall keep in mind as a priority the need to find economic alternatives
for our peasantry associated with illicit crops. Furthermore, we must
find substitute sources of income for the population involved in the various
drug trafficking related activities.
shall encourage training processes and rehabilitation for all of the addicts
and drug addicts, thus seeking to overcome and eliminate drug dependency".
believe that, above all, this is a highly ethical issue because drug trafficking
is a crime against humanity.
we, the Camilo Torres Union National Liberation Army UC-ELN, defend human
life and its integrity, we have historically observed a philosophy and
behavior that condemns and avoids all activities related to narcotics
and their trafficking. Such behavior enables us to have the ethical, moral
authority to propose and call for formulas for solutions to be agreed
upon among all of the countries in the world.
have declared over and over again that we have no link to nor activity
with drug trafficking within this country or abroad...
plague affects all of humanity. Therefore, it is the responsibility of
the entire international community to promote vast development plans,
including support and management, enabling the substitution of illicit
crops, hindrance of the production and commercialization of inputs, attention
to those hurt by the damaging effects of drug addiction in a humanitarian
fashion, education to reduce consumption and protection of youths and
Foreign Policy and Continentalism
shall develop a foreign policy, autonomous and independent of any control
by any power. This foreign policy shall have solidarity with other Third
World countries. It shall respect and support the self-determination of
all peoples and specially of the Cuban people and their revolution.
shall be a policy with an explicit Latin American orientation. Because,
to the extent that the continent acts as a block and ties of brotherhood
collaboration and integration are determined, Latin America shall win
its position within the international context. At that time, each one
of its countries shall be able to define its own path, destiny and development
in an autonomous, sovereign fashion. Within this policy, Colombia shall
maintain relations with all of the states around the world".46
many occasions we have proposed:
the exploitation of our natural resources.
· Reviewing Partnership Contracts.
· Reviewing State Concessions which are currently effective.
· Establishing a strategic hydrocarbon reserve.
· Handling the prices for our hydrocarbons on the international market
in a sovereign manner.
· Taxing one dollar per barrel for developing oil municipalities.
· Creating a National Oil Council, as a representative body of our Nation's
and our people's sovereignty, whose function shall be to analyze the
oil problem and propose formulas of benefit to our National interest.
· A dialogue
between USO, Ecopetrol and the Insurgency for the purpose of building
an alternative of sovereign hydrocarbon handling which shall be the
base for discussion of this topic in the dialogues and negotiations
within the framework of the political settlement of the conflict.
· A summons to a National Energy Forum, with the participation of the
oil, coal and electrical energy sectors, in which the proposal to develop
the energy sector as a base on which to restructure a strong, sovereign
National economy that shall simultaneously contribute to peace with
forum the ELN shall participate with its own proposals.
· The discussion
of the Hydrocarbon Framework Bill of Law shall be taken to the communities,
to union movements and social movements, to the academic sector, and to
the petroleum engineering schools, so that they may all participate in
making this law a starting point for an agreement for peace between the
State, the Insurgency and the society.
· An open
dialogue between the Association of Oil Companies and the Insurgency,
for the purpose of seeking economic and social development alternatives,
taking into account the geographic and human environment in the area of
their establishments and production installations.
If our proposal
and the workers' proposal are taken into account, we could then consider
changes in our natural resource defense policy". 47
very action of the urban communities shall make it possible to carry out
an urban reform that shall solve the problems of disfavored neighborhoods,
of housing, of illegal distribution of lots and of empty lots, of rent
speculation by owners. This reform shall condone or re-negotiate housing
debts contracted with State or private institutions; it shall control
urban growth through planning and shall attend the needs of democratizing
spaces according to the various activities of the community at hand".48