Colombia Signs Cease Fire with ELN
The deal struck in Quito, Ecuador, where talks with the National Liberation Army, or ELN, have been taking place since February, goes into effect Oct. 1. It runs through Jan. 12 and can be renewed if both sides agree.
Under the cease-fire, the rebels agree to suspend attacks on infrastructure, kidnappings and recruitment of minors. In exchange the government has vowed to boost protection for social leaders who have recently come under attack and develop a program that would provide humanitarian aid to rebels, among other measures.
The ELN, whose founders included radical Roman Catholic priests, is believed to have about 1,500 active fighters.
The cease-fire will be verified by independent observers, the United Nations and the Catholic Church.
The ELN is the last major guerrilla group in the field, now that the FARC has signed a peace deal and is transitioning to become a political party.