Colombia: ELN denies trying to kill attorney general, shortly after historic ceasefire

In Colombia, the prosecutor's office denounced on Tuesday, August 8, an alleged plan by the National Liberation Army (ELN) to assassinate Attorney General Francisco Barbosa. A plan that would have been prepared from Venezuela. The case comes to light just a week after the start of the historic six-month ceasefire between the government and the country's last active guerrilla. The ELN denies attempting to assassinate prosecutor Barbosa.

The Colombian prosecutor's office on Tuesday denounced an alleged plan by the National Liberation Army to assassinate Attorney General Francisco Barbosa (our photo). AFP - DANIEL MUNOZ

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Prosecutor Barbosa's information is false. It is thus trying to sabotage the ongoing process of dialogue between the government and the ELN": these are the words that the ELN delegation quickly published on Twitter with in the background the statement of the prosecutor's office and a red stamp saying "false".

#Atención Es falsa la noticia que ha entregado el fiscal Barbosa. Con ella intenta un sabotaje al proceso de diálogo que se está desarrollando entre el Gobierno y el ELN. #FiscalíaMiente

— Delegación ELN (@DelegacionEln) August 9, 2023

On Tuesday evening, the statement claimed that five senior ELN guerrilla leaders met in July in Venezuela to "prepare an attack against prosecutor Barbosa." According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, a man known as "El Rolo", head of the ELN's urban front, would lead the operation. The prosecutor's office assures that its sources of information come from the armed forces, the technical investigation corps and the judicial police. Francisco Barbosa is one of the main critics of Francisco Petro's peace plan, which seeks to end a six-decade-long conflict through dialogue.

In a statement, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry expressed its "deep concern over the outrageous reports (...) who are trying to undermine the peace process", and assured that the authorities would conduct a "full and transparent investigation" into the alleged use of its territory for "terrorist" purposes. From the Brazilian city of Belém, where he was attending a summit on saving the Amazon rainforest, his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Leyva demanded "the truth" about the case. "We need to investigate thoroughly, because this could well be a bomb against the peace process," he said.

A fourth round of negotiations planned

An investigation is underway to corroborate the facts, reports our correspondent in Medellin, Najet Benrabaa. If the information is confirmed, it would be a serious violation of the ceasefire started on August 3 between the government and the guerrillas. A bilateral ceasefire planned for six months.

A fourth round of negotiations is due to take place from 14 August to 4 September in Venezuela, whose government of Nicolas Maduro is the guarantor of the peace process. Former Colombian President Ivan Duque (2018-2022), a close associate of prosecutor Barbosa, has repeatedly assured that the neighboring Chavista power offers refuge to the guerrillas.

" READ ALSO Colombia: the ceasefire with the guerrilla of the ELN, a capital political issue for Gustavo Petro


and with AFP)

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