Colombian bishops travel to Cuba for talks with rebel leaders

.- Four Colombian bishops traveled to Havana, Cuba, this weekend to participate in talks between leaders of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Colombian government.

The delegation included Bishop Jaime Prieto Amaya of Barrancabermeja; Bishop Leonardo Gómez Serna of Magangue; Bishop Ricardo Tobón Restrepo of Sonsón-Rionegro and Bishop Julio Enrique Prado Bolaños of Pasto.

Bishop Prieto said the purpose of the trip was “to be present and encourage this peace process that is beginning and to provide a sense of continuity to the talks.”

“We are hopeful,” he added. “In this second round that has been meticulously prepared by the ELN and by civil society it appears that some doors are opening towards a more concrete and operative agenda,” Bishop Prieto stated.

The ELN was founded in 1964 and is the second largest guerilla force in the country, after the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), with a membership of 5,000.

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