Security & Strategic Review - January 2024

COLOMBIA: Progress on kidnappings as peace plan moves forwards

President Gustavo Petro’s flagship ‘total peace’ initiative has progressed in fits and starts since he took office in August 2022 and has been the subject of mounting criticism in the Colombian media. But after a difficult period, the government’s peace agenda is again moving forward, with the country’s two main guerrilla forces both agreeing in December to end the practice of kidnapping for ransom. This breakthrough came after a shakeup which saw the peace commissioner, Danilo Rueda, replaced by Otty Patiño, who until then had been the lead negotiator in peace talks with the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrilla group.

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