BOGOTA – The National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group declared on Monday a new five-day ceasefire for Colombia’s June 17 presidential runoff election.
“We have decided to declare a new suspension of our military operations, starting at midnight Friday, June 15, through the 24 hours of Tuesday, June 19, to facilitate the participation of Colombians in the second round of the election,” the ELN said in an editorial of its magazine “Insurreccion.”
The guerrilla group, which is in peace talks in Cuba with the Colombian government, said it hopes the negotiations progress to the point of reaching “the zero hour of the new bilateral ceasefire,” which is one of the goals of the contacts that began in February 2007 in Quito and were moved to the Caribbean island in May of this year.
The ELN had previously declared an electoral truce for the 2014 presidential election together with the other guerrilla group at the time, the FARC, and this year did the same for the legislative elections of March 11 and the first round of the presidential election last May 27.
“As we did for the first round of the presidential election, we wish to stress and highlight the importance of this historical moment. And that’s what it is in many ways,” said the note published Monday.
In next Sunday’s presidential runoff election, Colombians will choose between candidate Ivan Duque of the Democratic Center party and leftist Gustavo Petro of the Colombia Humana movement.