Government representatives met with members of an armed group that grew out of discharged FARC rebels, photos show.
Representatives of the Colombian government met with members of an armed group that grew out of discharged FARC rebels, the photos were posted on Twitter by President Gustavo Petro.
Petro, who took office in August, has promised to seek “complete peace” by fully implementing the 2016 peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and speaking to people so-called dissidents, treaty deniers as well as criminal gangs.
On its Twitter account, Petro published two photos on Sunday showing peace commissioner Danilo Rueda meeting dissident commanders, with the caption “a dialogue has begun”.
Comienza un dialog box. pic.twitter.com/dwDeGulOo2
– Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) September 18, 2022
Petro, a former member of the armed group M-19, did not give further details and the government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Banners in the background of the photos show the name of the Jorge Suarez Briceno Front, a faction of the FARC.
Several commanders of two major dissident groups have been killed in recent months, including across the border in Venezuela.
Early this month at least seven police officers were killed in an explosives attack in western Colombia, the deadliest attack on security forces since Petro took office, promising an end to the country’s nearly 60-year conflict.
Police sources said the officers were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit by an explosive. So-called dissidents from the FARC insurgency movement are known to be active in the area, according to security sources.
Petro has pledged to search “Completely Peaceful” by restarting negotiations with National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, applying the 2016 peace accord to FARC veterans who rejected the accord and negotiating the surrender of the gangs crime in exchange for a reduced sentence.
His predecessor, Ivan Duque, broke up peace talks with the ELN after a 2019 car bomb attack on a police academy in Bogota left 22 people dead.
Dissident groups have refuse the peace agreement negotiated by their former leader and count about 2,400 fighters in their ranks, according to the government.
Several prominent dissident commanders have been killed recently, many in cross-border fighting in Venezuela.
The conflict in Colombia between the government, left-wing rebels, right-wing troops and drug cartels has killed at least 450,000 people between 1985 and 2018 alone.