Alternatives to war: Colombia’s peace processes.
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Do talks start because of the military weakness of one of the sides or because of the political possibilities that the talks themselves offer? Alejo Vargas Velásquez explores the attitude of the ELN to negotiation processes, including the group’s idea of a National Convention, the role of human rights and International Humanitarian Law and the future of the oil industry. He describes how the government’s perception of the military weakness of the ELN – and the ELN’s efforts to demonstrate the reverse – has impacted on talks, arguing that until the government’s emphasis on talks as a result of a balance of military power and the ELN’s emphasis on military power as a means to initiate political negotiations are reconciled, there cannot be a successful process.