Five Colombian bishops will be directly involved in peace talks between the country’s government and the rebels of the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), the bishops’ conference has disclosed.
“The Church will be present in the public phase of the talks with a
committee of five bishops in the hardest-hit territories by the
guerillas,” said Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga of Tunja, the
president of the bishops’ conference.
The Fides news service explained
that the bishops would not act as mediators or direct participants in
the talks, but would “be of support” to the quest for a peace agreement.
Government talks with ELN leaders are scheduled to begin on October
The ELN is the smaller of two rebel forces that have been active in
The larger rebel force, the FARC, has already reached a peace
agreement with the government, although the terms of that agreement were
rejected by the public in a referendum vote.