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Declaration of Intent Mainz June 28th 1998


Translated from German

Mainz, June 28th 1998


A formal meeting took place in the city of Mainz, Germany between representatives of the Ejercito de Liberación Nacional ELN (National Liberation Army) and the National Peace Commission, with the objective of creating the conditions for a cooperative effort to seek solutions to the crisis in Colombia. The Bishops’ Conferences of Germany and Colombia provided support and assistance.

This initiative constitutes a part of the plan for inclusion of the different sectors of society, so that they will become committed to the cause of finding ways out of the war, in a spirit of participation such as that inspired by the proposal for a national convention, by the result of the vote on the Mandate for Peace, Life and Liberty and the prospects for a permanent assembly of non-governmental organisations for peace.

The following decisions were reached:

I. The talks between the ELN, the National Peace Commission and the various non-governmental organisations are to continue in order to maintain the momentum of the efforts made in Germany since 1996.

II. A major meeting is planned for July 1998, between the leaders of the ELN and the various non-governmental sectors in order to flesh out more precise details of the process. The German and Colombian Bishops’ Conferences are to participate and offer support.

III. Urgent measures to encourage a humanization of the war and the overcoming of all types of violence are to be promoted.

lV. A collaborative effort is to be made to create a leadership with profound social integrity, based on ethics, respect and peaceful understanding among Colombians and with the help of democracy, solidarity and the building up of a framework for national unity to encourage conciliation in the place of the current antagonism prevailing among the various political parties.
Our common objective at the beginning of this process is to help to build up a national unity that will permit consolidation of democratic scenarios on the basis of social justice, respect for diversity and the integral development of the Colombian people.

On behalf of the ELN:
Pablo Beltrán
Member of the Central Command
Miltón Hernandez
Member of the Dirección Nacional

On behalf of the National Peace Commission:

Jaime Bernal Cuellar
Procurador General de la Nación
Sabas Pretelt de la Vega
PRESIDENT OF FENALCO (National Federation of Commerce of Colombia)
Patrons (facilitadores):
P. Hans Langendörfer S.J. Jorge Martínez Restrepo
German Conference of Bishops Colombian Conference of Bishops

Mons. Emilio L. Strehle

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