After the bombing of Bogota, the talks with the underground ELN

"No to terrorism, Colombia mourns", is the scene of the deadly attack on January 17 in Bogota, Colombia. LUISA GONZALEZ / BOGOTA

On Friday, Colombian President Ivan Duque buried the peace dialogue with guerrilla fighters from the ELN (National Liberation Army, Guevarist), reopening arrest warrants for his negotiators in the aftermath of the deadly bombing of Bogota attributed to this rebellion.

"Today I ordered (…) the lifting of the suspension of the arrest warrants of the 10 members of the ELN who are part of the delegation of this group in Cuba and I revoked the resolution to create the conditions of their stay in this country »said the head of state, Friday, January 18, evening, referring to the talks moved to Havana, jammed since August.

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The right-wing leader demands that the rebellion release its hostages, the number of which is estimated at 17, and stop all criminal activity before resuming talks about the fifth peace process since the early 1990s.

"Mocho Kiko"

The government attributed this guerrilla, inspired by the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the attack that killed 20 people and 68 wounded, Thursday, in the school of the National Police of Bogota. The attack has not yet been claimed.

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According to the Minister of Defense, Guillermo Botero, this "Terrorist act" against the General Francisco de Paula Santander officer's school, located in the south of the capital, was committed by an ELN explosives expert, José Aldemar Rojas Rodriguez, 56, also dead in the attack.

Of Colombian nationality, he was a member for more than 25 years of rebellion. Known as the war of "Mocho Kiko" (The Penguin, because he had lost his right hand in an explosion), he belonged to the front Domingo Lain, operating in the Arauca, border department.

1800 fighters

Duque declared a three-day national mourning after the attack, the deadliest since 2003 in the capital of a country struggling with the emergence of more than half a century of armed conflicts. He called on the Colombians to take part in a march against terrorism planned for Sunday.

Experts warned Friday that the attack would be a fatal blow to the negotiations that began in 2017 with its predecessor Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018), but that Mr. Duque has remained in tension since he took office in August.

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With some 1,800 fighters, the ELN is considered the last guerrilla war in the country since the disarmament of the revolutionary armed forces of Colombia (FARC) and their transformation into a political party after the 2016 peace agreement.

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