GUATEMALA CITY – The government of Guatemala asked Cuba on Monday to cooperate with investigations into the attack on a police school in Colombia and urged the Caribbean country to hand over those connected.
“The Government of the Republic of Guatemala (...) joins the call to the Government of Cuba to cooperate, in an act of solidarity and adherence to international law, with the investigations led by the Colombian Government and to hand over to the authorities the intellectual authors of that terrorist action,” according to the statement.
The governments of Colombia and Cuba are facing a game of diplomatic chess after the National Liberation Army (ELN) assumed responsibility for the terrorist attack that left at least 20 dead last Thursday in Bogota and that has led the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, to demand the surrender of the peace negotiators of that guerrilla group who are in Havana.
The Colombian leader told Cuba that “there is no protocol to protect terrorism” and reiterated, after reactivating the arrest warrants, to hand over the 10 members of the ELN who are part of the peace delegation on the island.
That stance was shared by Guatemala, which also asked the ELN to “immediately release those kidnapped for humanitarian reasons.”
“Guatemala asks the Colombian authorities, and particularly Cuba, to work together in accordance with international law in the fight against terrorism,” the statement added.
Last Thursday, at least 20 people were killed in an attack against the General Francisco de Paula Santander Officer’s School south of Bogota. About 68 people were also wounded.
Peace talks with the ELN were initiated by the previous Colombian government in Feb. 2017 in Quito, but in May last year they moved to Cuba, where the last round of talks ended on Aug. 3.
When Duque took office on Aug. 7, he announced a review of negotiations, which have since been suspended due to the government’s demand that the ELN end criminal activities, especially kidnapping.