After 40 Years of Civil War
Agent Mauss claims Colombian peace talks to continue in November / the man from Hunsrück organised meeting
District/Mainz (Cen). The peace negotiations to try to bring an end to the civil war in Colombia are to continue in November according to the German mediator Werner Mauss.
In an interview with the WOCHENSPIEGEL the man from Hunsrück says he is optimistic that an agreement can be reached at the talks planned for November after which the various parties involved in the civil war will be in a position to renounce their bombing and kidnapping tactics. And, he adds, he may also be playing an active role as peace negotiator in the future for both the German and Colombian governments.
Pablo Beltran, spokesperson for the ELN (National Liberation Army), is considering for the first time the possibility of a stronger US involvement in the Colombian peace process. “I believe if the Americans change their attitude then we would not have anything against accepting their help.” At the same time he demanded that Washington should put a stop to its “interventionist policies”. As recently as Wednesday, following the conclusion of four-day peace talks at Himmelspforten near Würzburg, Beltran had categorically ruled out any participation by the USA. Washington’s support of the Colombian military meant it was directly involved in the conflict and consequently that it was lacking the moral authority to mediate, he had argued.
Hopes for a peace agreement in Colombia had received a boost in recent days after both the ELN and the Colombian Revolutionary Army (FARC) had declared their readiness to hold talks with the new government of Conservative President Andres Pastrana, the man who took office in August. The Himmelspforten talks had come off thanks to the efforts of Mauss. The Hunsrück secret agent and his wife Ida have excellent contacts in Colombia.
They are the only Europeans who have succeeded, through negotiations carried out in the secret ELN camps in the Colombian mountains, in bringing ELN fighters and the Colombian government together around the peace table – and that after 40 years of civil war. In a press statement issued to the WOCHENSPIEGEL by the ELN central command, the guerrillas demand that the “hideous massacres of unarmed civilians over the last 20 years” be investigated. Massacres, they claim, that have brought the deaths of many thousands of people in recent years – victims of the brutal paramilitary gangs. People were dragged from their homes and shot down in the streets – even children and pregnant women. Some of the victims were strung up and stabbed until they bled to death”.
Since October of last year a total of 405 of these massacres have been carried out against the civilian population with around 1,600 victims. The bloody massacres perpetrated by the notorious “Brigade 20” were a special source of fear. It is these crimes that the ELN is particularly keen to see thoroughly investigated and the guilty parties brought to justice.
Agent Werner Mauss is very positive about his mission: “Peace in Colombia is within reach ….”.
By courtesy of the Wochenspiegel SW publishers www.wochenspiegellive.de