Colombia is Trying to End 50 Years of War, But One Rebel Group Won’t Stop its Attacks

Colombia is Trying to End 50 Years of War, But One Rebel Group Won’t Stop its Attacks by Wes Michael Tomaselli – Washington Post

The breakdown of a cease-fire with a left-wing rebel group is threatening President Juan Manuel Santos’s goal of delivering peace and an end to Latin America’s longest-running war before the end of his eight-year term this August.

After five decades of conflict between the Colombian state and various anti-government rebel groups, Santos brokered a peace agreement with the country’s main Marxist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) — winning a Nobel Peace Prize in the process — but a deal with anotherrebel band, the National Liberation Army (ELN) remains elusive, and key elections are just months away.

The three-month cease-fire between the army and the ELN ended on Tuesday. Within hours, the rebels blew up the national oil pipeline near the border with Venezuela and threw a grenade at soldiers. In a separate attack near the frontier, a sniper killed a Colombian soldier. Colombia’s military attributed the attack to the ELN.

Santos responded shortly afterward by recalling his chief negotiator from Quito, Ecuador, where talks had been scheduled…

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