Colombia’s Petro accuses armed group of violating ceasefire | Drugs News


Bogota accuses the Gulf Clan of backing protests by unlawful miners that reduce off consuming water to communities within the northwest.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has accused the Gulf Clan criminal group of violating a ceasefire settlement by attacking an aqueduct throughout protests by unlawful gold miners within the nation’s northwest.

Roadblocks related to the demonstrations affected as much as 300,000 folks throughout 12 municipalities in Colombia’s Antioquia and Cordoba provinces, leading to shortages of gas, meals and medication, the federal government stated.

Police lifted nearly all of the roadblocks final week, however a gaggle of miners destroyed an aqueduct, a toll and an ambulance on Sunday and authorities consider they had been finishing up the orders of the Gulf Clan.

“Affecting a metropolis’s consuming water is placing in danger the lives of girls and boys, of all human beings,” Petro stated on Twitter on Sunday.

“With its hostility in opposition to the inhabitants, the Gulf Clan has damaged the ceasefire.”

The group didn’t instantly reply to Petro’s assertion.

The Gulf Clan, also referred to as the Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces, reached a truce late final yr with the federal government as a part of Petro’s “complete peace” plan to finish practically 60 years of armed battle, which has killed no less than 450,000 folks.

Bogota announced on January 1 {that a} six-month ceasefire deal had been reached with a handful of armed teams, together with the Gulf Clan and the Nationwide Liberation Military, or ELN, the nation’s largest remaining insurgent organisation.

However the ELN swiftly denied it had accepted any such settlement, saying a ceasefire “was merely a proposal to be thought-about” and forcing the federal government to backtrack.

Final week, a second round of peace talks between the Colombian authorities and the ELN concluded in Mexico Metropolis, with each side hailing their progress and saying efforts to succeed in a truce would proceed in a 3rd spherical of negotiations set to happen in Cuba.

“We took the primary steps to agency up a bilateral, nationwide and short-term ceasefire which is able to create higher circumstances for Colombians’ mobilisation and participation within the peace course of,” the ELN’s Pablo Beltran stated on Friday.

Petro is hoping Congress will cross a legislation approving give up offers for prison gangs, together with advantages comparable to decreased jail sentences, in alternate for dismantling operations and paying reparations to victims, amongst different issues.

In the meantime, miners proceed to protest within the nation’s northwest, with assaults in opposition to medical amenities, vandalism and roadblocks inspired by the Gulf Clan, in response to the army, police and authorities.

Negotiations between the federal government and the miners haven’t but resulted in a deal.

The army has stepped up operations to safe the area. Over the weekend, troopers blew up 4 excavators utilized in unlawful gold mining within the Cauca River, elevating the variety of machines destroyed during the last two weeks to 13.

The Gulf Clan is made up of former right-wing paramilitaries, who had been damaged up in a 2006 peace deal negotiated by former President Alvaro Uribe.

In response to official estimates, the group is behind between 30 and 60 p.c of the medication exported from Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine.

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