On March 30, after more than two years of exploratory conversations, Colombia’s government and second-largest insurgent group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), reached agreement on an agenda for formal negotiations. This “public table of conversations” will take place in Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, and Cuba. Here is the negotiating agenda. This document’s Spanish original is here, in PDF format. This is a rush translation; feel free to suggest edits in the comments.
Accord for Dialogues for the Peace of Colombia Between the National Government and the National Liberation Army
The government of the Republic of Colombia (National Government) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), henceforward “the Delegations,” as a result of exploratory and confidential dialogues, and given their manifest disposition for peace, have agreed to install a public table of conversations to take on the points that have been established on the agenda, with the goal of signing a Final Accord to end the armed conflict and agree on transformations seeking a Colombia in peace with fairness.
The exploratory dialogues took place between January 2014 and March 2016 in the Republic of Ecuador, the Federative Republic of Brazil, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, whose governments acted as guarantors along with the Government of Norway; during this phase the governments of the Republic of Cuba and the Republic of Chile officiated as accompaniers. The National Government and the ELN express special recognition and gratitude toward all of them. The international community’s continued accompaniment is essential.
Recognizing that peace is a supreme good in every democracy, and with the objective of putting an end to the armed conflict, eradicating violence from politics; placing the treatment of victims’ situation at the center; and advancing toward national reconciliation through society’s active participation in the building of a stable of long-lasting peace, the Delegations have agreed:
- To install a public conversations table in Ecuador.
- The table’s sessions will take place in Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, and Cuba. These countries, together with Norway, are the guarantors.
- To carry out direct and uninterrupted conversations between the Government and ELN Delegations.
- To execute the agenda with the greatest speed and rigor.
- To develop the following agenda:
1. Participation of Society in the Building of Peace
The participation of society will be:
a. That they make peace viable through initiatives and proposals in the course and context of this process.
b. On the themes of the agenda.
c. A dynamic and active exercise, inclusive and pluralistic, that permits the building of a common vision of peace that encourages transformations for the country and its regions.
2. Democracy for Peace
Democracy for peace is the purpose of this point of the accord:
a. To carry out a debate that permits examination of society’s participation in, and decisions about, the problems that affect its reality, and that can be channeled into constructive elements for society.
b. Treatment of conflicts with an eye toward building peace.
c. Review of the normative framework and guarantees for public demonstrations. Treatment of the legal situation of those accused and convicted for actions taken in the development of social mobilizations.
d. Participation of society in the construction of citizenship.
3. Transformations for Peace
The purpose of this point is to agree on transformations for peace, taking into account:
a. The transformative proposals elaborated by society, upheld by the results of point 2 of this agenda (“Democracy for Peace”).
b. Transformative programs to overcome poverty, social exclusion, corruption and environmental degradation, while seeking equity.
c. Alternative integral plans with a territorial focus, which constitute economic and productive options that benefit communities.
In the construction of a stable and lasting peace, the recognition of victims and their rights is essential, as is the treatment and resolution of their situation based on truth, justice, reparations, and commitments of non-repetition and not forgetting. These elements, taken together, are the basis of forgiveness and lead toward a reconciliation process.