The government’s Reincorporation and Normalization Agency (ARN) announces that, during the period of COVID-19 social distancing, it will continue food and medical assistance for the 2,893 FARC ex-combatants who remain in 24 former demobilization sites (ETCRs). Monthly transfers of 90 percent of minimum wage are to continue through August. Nearly all outside visits to the ETCRs have been suspended by quarantine measures, and most ARN services, like medical consultations and technical training, are being provided virtually or by telephone.
The ELN announces a unilateral ceasefire during the month of April in response to the COVID-19 emergency. The guerrillas’ statement asks the government to send negotiators to Havana to discuss making the ceasefire bilateral.
The Defendamos la Paz movement issues a statement on March 30 hailing the ELN’s decision.
The government’s high commissioner for peace, Miguel Ceballos, turns down the ELN’s demand that local military units pull back to their barracks during the ceasefire.
The government names former ELN leaders Francisco Galán and Felipe Torres “peace promoters”—advisors and possible interlocutors with the guerrilla group. This releases Galán from preventive prison for his alleged role in a 2000 kidnapping, and suspends an arrest order against Torres.
Inmates in several Colombian prisons stage protests out of concern for the spread of the COVID-19 virus amid very crowded conditions. In Bogotá’s La Modelo prison, where thousands participate in a protest, authorities claim that guards killed 23 prisoners attempting to escape.