Delay in Colombia talks blamed in internal rebel divisions

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) " Peace talks between Colombia and its No. 2 rebel group were to have begun on Thursday in Ecuador but a start date now appears uncertain. Internal divisions among guerrilla factions are being blamed.

A government official who was not authorized to speak publicly said the delay owed to the National Liberation Army's failure to release a former congressman. The government has demanded Odin Sanchez's freedom as a condition for talks.

Analyst Leon Valencia, an ex-rebel, says recalcitrance in the two strongest rebel units is holding up Sanchez's release. He is being held in the northwestern state of Choco.

The ELN was created in 1964, the same year as the FARC, Latin America's last major insurgency.

A peace government-FARC peace pact signed Sept. 26 was rejected by voters a week later.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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