FundaRedes: Venezuela does not have the capacity to be impartial in a peace negotiation with the ELN

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After Nicolás Maduro’s acceptance to participate as guarantor in the dialogue and peace process between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Colombian government, following the invitation of President Gustavo Petro, the Coordinator of the Venezuelan NGO “FundaRedes”, Clara Ramírez, considers that Venezuela does not have the standing to be an impartial contributor of a peace negotiation with this armed group.

By La Patilla – Anggy Polanco

Sep 15, 2022

Ms. Ramírez posits that on this occasion she doubts that this guerrilla organization will end the violence in Colombia and Venezuela, because the Venezuelan government has not acknowledged the presence of the ELN and the Dissident FARC in the national territory.

Faced with this fact, she wonders: And what about peace in Venezuela?

Ramírez says that the invitation that the Venezuelan State has accepted is not going to bring any benefit. What agreements are they going to reach? That the violent actions are going to stop in Colombia? Or are they going to sign peace, but on the condition that they might continue to act from Venezuela, as they have done for many years?”

For more than a decade, the “FundaRedes” NGO has been denouncing the growth of the ELN in Venezuelan territory, with a large concentration in the border regions of the country, where their presence is very marked. And after making these complaints public the director of the organization, Professor Javier Tarazona, is deprived of liberty (euphemism for jailed or imprisoned).

In extensive investigative works that FundaRedes has published, it is specified that the ELN has a presence in all the main states of Venezuela and carries out activities such as homicides, kidnapping, protection rackets, forced labor, drug trafficking, drug crops and clandestine smuggling paths and trails.

Clara Ramírez explains that the Colombian guerrilla group has led to the forced displacement of vulnerable groups of people in various states of the country, and they are also participate in extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking. They have even carried out political control meetings, appropriation of land, recruitment of minors and some guerrillas have been perpetrators of sexual abuse.

The coordinator of the organization recalls that this guerrilla for years has controlled the radio-electric space with different radio stations in Venezuelan territory, they also carry out indoctrination activities, armed training and are part of illegal mining and natural resource extraction.

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