The National Liberation Army (ELN) of the guerrillas admitted its responsibility in the attack on a police school in Colombia that left about 20 dead, evoking a "legal" operation in war, but he insisted on resuming the peace dialogues buried by the attack.
"The operation conducted against these facilities and troops is legal within the war law, there were no non-combatant victims," said the national guerrilla leadership in a statement released Monday morning on his website .
The car bomb killed 20 students from the National Police Cadet School and the alleged assailant. This action motivated that the president of Colombia Iván Duque put an end to the dialogue table that took place in Havana.
According to the statement of the ELN, the National Cadet Police School is a military installation and there "they receive instruction and training from officers who then carry out combat activities, conduct military operations, actively participate in the counterinsurgency war and give a treatment of war against social protest ".
– Answer in "legitimate defense" –
According to ELN, the attack would be a response to the military activities carried out by the Duque government during the unilateral ceasefire offered by the guerrillas at Christmas and at the end of the year.
"The president did not give the necessary dimension to the gesture of peace" and "his response was to carry on military attacks against us, throughout the national territory," says ELN.
"The government armed forces have taken advantage of this cessation to advance the positions of their operational troops, gaining favorable positions that are difficult to reach without cessation," the statement reads.
According to ELN, the Colombian troops bombed a camp on December 25, striking a family of farmers who were nearby.
"It is therefore very disproportionate that, while the government is attacking us, we suggest that we can not respond in self-defense," the publication said.
ELN has assured that their camps, where their fighters are trained, are also attacked.
"We have not interrupted or slowed our peace efforts, because we are clear that we are at war, because the ruling class has reiterated that the dialogues should be developed in the middle of the conflict," they said.
– Follow the table –
The Guevarist group insisted on agreeing a bilateral ceasefire "to generate a favorable climate for peace efforts" and was willing to "respect some areas and installations of the military state" and the ELN, which would facilitate dialogue .
ELN said that "the death of both sides" hurt them and recalled that last year two of their commanders were dismissed unarmed when they should have been captured.
The guerrillas urged President Duque to send his delegation to resume the dialogues at Havana, "to give continuity to the peace process and to the construction of the agreements that we brought from the previous government, the path of a political solution to the conflict".
On Friday, Duque decided to re-activate the arrest warrants against the rebel group's negotiators and announced that he would intensify the persecution against what he called "a criminal machine of abductions and attacks".
At the same time, he asked the Cuban government to stop and deliver "those criminals for justice" to Colombia.
Hosting and guarantor of the frustrated peace negotiations, Avana condemned the attack and assured Friday that it will respect the commitments established before the breakup of the talks.
The protocols included the intervention of a friendly country for the return of the guerrilla delegation.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in a tweet on Monday that "Cuba has never allowed or allowed its territory to be used for the organization of terrorist acts against any State".
Last Sunday, thousands of people marched in the repudiation of the attack, dressed in white and waving Colombian flags with slogans like "cowards murderers" or "life is sacred".
With approximately 1,800 fighters and an extended support network in cities, ELN operates in a dozen of the 32 Colombian departments.
Emerged in 1964 under the influence of Che Guevara, this organization claims a nationalist policy and is close to the dissidence of the FARC and the paramilitary drug gangs, the main challenge for the security of Colombia.